Toast of London – Channel 4’s cult comedy about an antiquated stage actor – returns to our tellies this Wednesday (November 18) at 10.30pm. We spoke to star Matt Berry about Mad Men actor Jon Hamm’s guest appearance, ‘taches, actual Toast and his own band, Matt Berry and the Maypoles.
Hi, Matt. Toast Of London is back. What’s new in series three?
Matt: “Erm, it’s exactly the same as the last series. We haven’t altered anything at all. He just gets into more shit. He wanders onto the set of the moon landing in Pinewood Studios in 1969. He does the Royal Variety Performance. He does a sand dance, meets Bob Monkhouse, falls in love with Jon Hamm, and sets fire to The Globe Theatre, nearly causing the second Great Fire of London.”
How do you prepare – moustachically – for the role?
“I don’t prepare. I just have a beard then the day before we film, I just shave it off. And there it is. I don’t need any help. I can do it on my own. I’m a big enough boy.”
Do you practice in front of the mirror to get Toast’s voice right?
“No, it just comes on the day. It’s not a plan and it’s not particularly thought out. It’s not hard to switch off ‘cos I’m only doing it for work. I’m not doing it now, in normal life.”
How do we know your voice in Toast isn’t your normal voice and this is you doing a pretend, more subdued voice?
Fair enough. You eat quite a lot of toast in Toast. Is this deliberate?
“No. I think it’s just because there are scenes set at breakfast. If it were afternoon, we’d be having tea. I suppose we did it so that we could get that shitty line, “Toast, Toast?” in there. But you can’t do that more than once.”
You’ve got a live album with your band Matt Berry and The Maypoles, and are off on tour again soon. What happens if people turn up…
“…expecting stand-up? Then they haven’t read the poster. They haven’t done their homework.”
You’ve voice-overed everyone from a dolphin in SpongeBob SquarePants to Volvic mineral water to Müller Corner yogurt. How does one get in character to play a Müller Corner?
“I don’t get into character. I just do the job. I don’t pay attention to the actual product. I just read the words and then fuck off.”
So you don’t have a lifetime’s supply of Volvic, Müller Corners and dolphins in your garage?
Toast Of London airs Wednesdays, Channel 4, 10:30pm.
‘Matt Berry and the Maypoles Live’ is out November 20. They tour in December