Every time he plans a vegetable curry or asks someone to grab him some fruit, David Tennant may have been accidentally propositioning people by text – because the oblivious Doctor Who star had NO IDEA that certain emojis have (ahem) sexual connotations.
The actor, who plays the demon Crowley in Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, revealed he had recently attended a workplace conduct seminar where, in the wake of #MeToo, the whole team had been given guidance about mobile communications.
But he was utterly bewildered by a strange comment about the aubergine/eggplant emoji.
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“It takes you through things that are acceptable and not acceptable in the workplace,” he explained on The Graham Norton Show. “And then, right at the end of this sequence where it’s talking about how to communicate on your mobile phone and what’s appropriate and what isn’t appropriate, it says, ‘Remember, the eggplant emoji is not just an eggplant!’ – and that’s it!
“And I’m left going, what the f**k is an eggplant? It’s an aubergine, right? But that’s not what they mean! And it turns out, and I knew nothing about this, that there’s a whole kind of language, usually based around foodstuffs, where they represent – other things!”
He added: “Asking someone out for a taco could easily be misinterpreted, it turns out.”
But it seems his Good Omens co-star Michael Sheen is more up-to-date with the modern world.
“Of course! Where have you been??” Sheen protested, explaining to Tennant: “And then you’ve got the peach, and if you start adding to that, the raindrops – you can do anything.”
“It’s a minefield, clearly,” said an indignant Tennant.
The Graham Norton Show airs on Fridays at 10.35pm on BBC1. Good Omens is out now