Soundtrack Of My Life: ‘The Inbetweeners’ star James Buckley

Baby-faced actor, owes Ian Brown a bucket of KFC

The first song I remember hearing

Chris Rea – ‘Texas’

“There used to be a hardware store when I was a kid called Texas – a bit like B&Q. I don’t know whether they used that song in their marketing or wherever? I just thought about [the hardware store] when I heard it on the family car stereo. I just assumed it was a bloke on his way to Texas to buy some two-by-fours.”

The first song I fell in love with


The Smiths – ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’

“I’m in my 30s and the idea of falling in love with a song seems stupid to me now, but when I was a teenager I was really into The Smiths. I just thought that he was singing about me – that’s how you think when you’re that age. Y’know, ‘I’m a bit miserable and a bit awkward in social settings’. I guess I would have downloaded it on Napster. I’m a sucker for a guitarist – self-taught from the age of about 10. I’ve always just appreciated really good guitars. So obviously Johnny Marr is a hero of mine.

The first album I bought

The Monkees – ‘The Monkees Greatest Hits’

“I was about seven years old. I was obsessed with The Monkees because of ‘90s Nickelodeon. The TV schedule would end at 7pm and for some reason they would show an episode of The Monkees at half six. All I wanted was to be Davy Jones – he was just the greatest ever. ”

The gig I had a surreal rock star encounter at


The Stone Roses at Boucher Road Playing Field, Belfast, 2012

Ian Brown once gave me a bucket of KFC. I went to see The Stone Roses in 2012, before I had kids. My manager called me up and said: ‘Do you want to go and see The Stone Roses they’re playing in Northern Ireland tonight?’. So I got the next flight with my mate. We stood on the side of the stage watching and I just couldn’t believe my luck. After the gig I went and said hello. We knew that Manny was an Inbetweeners fan. Ian seemed to be into it as well. He said, ‘Are you hungry?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I didn’t know I was going to be here tonight, all I’ve done is travel to Northern Ireland’. He said, ‘Oh, we’ve got a spare bucket of KFC if you want it?’ And I said, ‘Yeah okay’. It’s really bizarre the situations you find yourself in.

The first gig I went to

Oasis at London Finsbury Park, July 2002

“The first gig, and also the best gig I’ve ever been to. The support was incredible: The Charlatans, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Cornershop, The Coral… it felt like there were 30 bands playing that day. Doors were at midday, and I was like: ‘I gotta be there then, I don’t want to miss Oasis!’ I thought that’s just what gigs were like, all the time. That night Oasis were the greatest band in the world. Watching them play live, it just completely made sense. A reunion sometime? I think if The Stone Roses reunited for a few gigs, then any band could.

The song that reminds me of home

East 17 – ‘Steam’

“My mum and dad did a good job educating me correctly with music, but growing up in the suburbs of east London you could not get away from East 17. They were properly championed. They were a boy band but it didn’t matter – boys would like them, girls would like them. They were cool. I still like listening to East 17, I’ve got to be honest. It reminds me of being a kid. It was a bit silly, but good songs. They were the anti Take That weren’t they?”

The song I wish I’d written

Bing Crosby – ‘White Christmas’

“It’s the biggest selling single of all time, isn’t it? Yeah, I’ll say that. You get royalties every year.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Johnny Cash – ‘Hurt’

“A friend of mine passed away in my early twenties – my best friend. It’s a combination of things. I don’t think Johnny Cash lived that much longer after he released it? I also have a memory of being in my car – my 1982 Mini Mayfair – with me and my friend listening to that song and talking about it. We discussed how Johnny Cash, if anything, had made that song even better [originally by Nine Inch Nails]. That song just has all the ingredients, it takes me back there [with my friend].”

The song I want played at my funeral

Babylon Zoo – ‘Spaceman’

“I think that’s quite apt. I can imagine it would be really fucking awkward to listen to as the coffin ascends. That would be amusing.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Elton John – ‘I’m Still Standing’

“I like to move. How can you not groove about to ‘I’m Still Standing’? Listen, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Elton fan, but that phase hasn’t aged well. If we’re asking the question, ‘can you dance?’ The answer is ‘no’, but I’ll try to that song.”

All episodes of ‘Zapped’, starring James Buckley, are available to view now on BBC iPlayer

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