Lee Mack is starring in a brand new BBC Two sitcom, Semi-Detached, which starts this week – and the Would I Lie To You? star has claimed that he “begged” to be cast in the series after first coming across the script.
The comedian said that as soon as he read David Crow and Oliver Maltman’s script he was desperate to land the lead role – even though he had originally only been asked to read it so he could give the writers feedback.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press at a live streamed Q&A launch for the series, Mack said, “I first read it just because someone wanted my opinion of the script and I said not only do I love it, I really want to play the part of Stuart – so I begged for the part.”
The role represents something of a departure for Mack – who is used to writing his own scripts on his long-running sitcom Not Going Out – and he said that in the past he’s struggled to accept roles in shows where the creative control lies elsewhere.
“I have complete control over [Not Going Out], I do write it with somebody else but I have the ultimate control,” he said.
“And so there’s been things often over the years where I’ve looked at them and gone ‘I don’t feel confident doing this’ because I want to put my thoughts into it and so I’ve avoided them – but this was just so fantastically written.
“And so it was fantastic letting go of that, I did have a couple of little comments but overall I just said the words that we were given so it was quite liberating.”
Going forward, Mack has hopes that the show will be a success and that there will be further series to look forward to in the future, a claim backed up by fellow cast members Ellie White, Samantha Spiro and Patrick Baladi.
Asked if he’d like to continue in the role for another run, the star responded “100 per cent. I mean I desperately want to know what happens next because, we’re not going to give anything away but it’s left with you feeling ‘Oh my God what’s going to happen next at the end of the series.’
“So I would love to do some more, I really would!”
Semi-Detached launches on BBC Two on Thursday 6th August, 10pm. The boxset will also be available on BBC iPlayer – find out what else to watch with our TV Guide