Actor Toby Jones shares his thoughts on Bognor ahead of new BBC series
BAFTA winner Toby Jones has shared his views on Bognor Regis ahead of his new television series, Don't Forget The Driver.
Don't Forget The Driver is a new dark comedy for BBC Two and is the television writing debut for Toby Jones and Obie Award winner Tim Crouch. The show will begin at 10pm on Tuesday April 9.
Toby Jones plays Barry and Peter Green in the show, a single parent who works for Bassett's Coaches, supplied by local firm Woods Travel Ltd so Toby had to take coach driving lessons.
He said: "It's a complicated activity! It's a really tricky skill to master. I loved it. Controlling a vehicle that big — I'd never done that before."
Known for his roles in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Hunger Games, and Sherlock, Toby also shared why Bognor was chosen as the location. He said: "Bognor Regis was a royal resort. In the past, the King would come here, but now there are brightly colour funfair rides.
"It’s still a fine town – although slightly depressed in places. But most of these seaside towns seem depressed when it’s not sunny. There’s a faded grandeur to Bognor. We’re livingat a time when Britain is questioning its identity. The story explores issues about Britain and the rest of the world – and Britain’s comic function in the world.
"Britain has always been a source of comedy, because we are quite good at laughing at ourselves and the world laughs at us in a way. Bognor is also a brilliant name. Bognor!"
The show will follow the story of a group of people struggling with their sense of identity and the 'beauty and ugliness' of life in small-town Britain.
Tim, who now lives in Brighton, grew up in Bognor said Woods Travel Ltd had become consultants in the show and said he considered Don't Forget the Driver a 'love-song' to Bognor.
On why Bognor was chosen in particular, Tim said: "There’s something I find beautiful about Bognor. I spent 18 years there. My dad still lives there. Every time I visit I’m swamped by nostalgia.
"There’s a particular quality of Englishness in this small town - a sense of the world passing it by somewhat. It’s what we all feel - that life is happening somewhere else. It’salso by the sea, our biggest border in a way, so it felt right to do it here at a time when our borders are being re-examined."
The show has been commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Shane Allen, Controller, Comedy Commissioning at the BBC. The comedy is Executive Produced by Jane Featherstone (The Split, Broadchurch, Humans) and Naomi de Pear (Flowers, The Bisexual, River) for Sister Pictures, and BBC Comedy Commissioning Editor Kate Daughton.
Don’t Forget the Driver also sees Holly Pullinger (previous Line-Producer credits include Save Me, Flowers and The Bisexual), step into her first producer role to produce the 6x30’ series for Sister Pictures.