Jessica Hynes has a new Bake Off idea: The Great British Vegetable

Plus, the Spaced star says how'd she'd change the BBC, and the comedies you should be watching


What does your television room look like?


We’ve got loads of books and the TV is sort of just there. There’s also a record player. So you’ve got a TV, then loads of records, then a record player, then lots and lots of books.

Who is sitting next to you on the sofa when you watch TV? Your husband?

Yep – and my kids as well. They’re 17, 13 and ten.

Your kids must enjoy watching you pop up on screen…

Hopefully when I do it doesn’t detract from their viewing pleasure. On the whole it doesn’t seem to.

Who takes charge of the remote control?

I try to be as even-handed as I can, but my kids tend to take charge and we watch a lot of Outnumbered, which they love, and also Bob’s Burgers, which they’re big fans of too.

What other TV do you watch?

I was completely addicted to Fleabag. I’ll also watch anything with Michaela Coel in it, most recently The Aliens and her show Chewing Gum, she’s brilliant. I really liked Flowers with Julian Barratt and Olivia Colman, and I’m looking forward to Julia Davis’s Morning Has Broken [due to start on Channel 4 next year]. I watch a lot of history programmes on iPlayer – I’ve just seen a programme about Barbara Hepworth and one with John Betjeman on churches.

Would you ever watch your old stuff such as Spaced?

I don’t think it’s on! Is it on a channel? Can you watch it? [We checked and it’s on the London only channel London Live on Friday at 1.50am].

What about radio and podcasts?

I listen to Radio 4 – it’s always on. I always end up listening to Woman’s Hour, which I love. Recently they had an interview with Billie Piper, talking about her play Yerma. Also Dead Ringers, which is unfailingly spot on and brilliant – it’s laugh out loud funny.

If you could make a challenge TV show such as Bake Off, what would it be? Other than baking or pottery.

I like the idea of the series ending with a finished product, so vegetable growing? The Great British Vegetable? Why isn’t that on TV? I’m growing beetroots at the moment.

So you’re quite green-fingered?

Not naturally, but I’m getting there. I mean, the beetroots have grown, but I had a really bad invasion of slugs. The courgettes on the other hand…

Do you watch Gardeners’ World?

No, and I probably should. I bet it’s on iPlayer. [It is!] Perhaps that’s what the problem is – I don’t watch Gardeners’ World.

If you had £8 billion to spend on the BBC, what would you do?

I would make it global. I would take the BBC and put it in every country in the world. I would have a local BBC station making local BBC programmes that were funded and free from advertising, serving and informing the populace in an impartial and a sort of egalitarian way.


Jessica Hynes appears in Hooten & the Lady, Friday 9pm Sky1