Comedian and director Ben Miller opens up on how he spends his weekends. Just like all of us the actor loves to spend his weekends with family. Married to actress Belinda Stewart Ben loves to spend his weekend at his home in Maida Vale. He and his wife also visit their wife’s parents at Somerset during the weekend. Ben sometimes gets lucky to start the weekend on a Friday morning if there is no shooting. He also adds that his in-laws in the West Country have a lot of friends, and there is always a get-together. The Millers have also rented a place on the farm to facilitate weekend travels to Maida Vale.
Ben loves the countryside and loves to escape to the greenery. He says that the place is crazy but is very relaxed when compared to the hustle bustle of the city. Weekends are also a chance to meet Jez Butterworth and his wife, Gilly. They live in the countryside and also have a holding of ducks, chickens and pigs. Earlier Jez lived in Soho, and his writings reflected Soho, now after shifting to West Country, he follows a deep and dark country style.
Ben talks of how he met Belinda at Jez and Gilly’s marriage. Belinda was also present at the wedding and gifted a cartwheel that captivated Ben. Now with five years of marriage and a three-year-old son, Sonny, life was never better for Ben. The couple has acted in the television drama Primeval. Weekends in London are one to watch out for. Speaking about his son Sonny, Ben says that he is a good friend of Sam, actress Sarah Alexander’s son. Alexander is also three years old. Sarah plays Ben’s wife in a comedy series. Sarah is married to Peter Serafinowicz. A family interested in Science, the two families love to take their kids to Science Museum.
Ben and his family spend a lot of time with his partner Alexander Armstrong and his wife, Hannah. He added that despite doing some solo projects they are close. Their elder son Rex is close Sonny, and Xander has a new addition to the family as well, his son Patrick.
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Ben Miller and Alexander Armstrong are thickest of buddies. According to Ben, Alexander is the funniest person he has met so far even after 20 years of their companionship. He says he has a self-deprecating humour in him. Ben calls Alexander’s cousin Aiden Hawkes funny because he can slip anything and may you laugh. He has some excellent timing sense praises, Ben. The actor recalls some funny moments in the school. He talks about his history teacher and how the class used to bully him. Mistaken that the teacher used to wear a wig the class used to sing wig in chores, the teacher unable to find the culprit in the group used to walk away disappointed, it was later that the class found out that it was not a wig after all. Such instances make you laugh, Ben adds.
Ben is convinced that Framed style videos are the funniest, and it is available on YouTube. Funny episodes of women falling into the ditch and knocked onto the cake are laughable moments, says Ben. The actor says that his latest filming Never Mind The Buzzcocks is where he last made someone laugh, and it was tough as he had to talk nonsense and yet hope for the right reaction. Remembering Sophie Winkleman’s wedding, Ben says that he tripped and fell over a tray of bruschetta, but no one noticed narrating his recent fall over the episode.
Recollecting the funniest TV show, he says he loved Fawlty Towers and used to watch it with his family and laugh his stomach out. Ben says that a radio show is also enough to tickle him. Recalling embarrassing moments, he dates it back to his secondary school when he was suffering from a running nose and was snotting only to be pulled up by senior girls at school. He felt so embarrassed that he forced his parents to change his school, narrates Ben.
Did you know that Ben has a nickname? So, what is it? His close buddy Alexander calls him Millsy. Ben explains that he get so self-loathing that everyone starts hating him the next morning. He gets drunk to know even what happened during those nights but is sure that they are funny.
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Ben will be playing the role of James Lester in Primeval. It may be noted that Lester will be playing the second fiddle, and this could be a little odd for a person who was always ruling the roost. You can find him sarcastic than you have seen him before. After the destruction of the ARC in the third series, Richard Branson paid some big money for the new facility which was bigger than the previous ARC. Lester was in a tricky situation he felt out of place as he was not in-charge of the situation anymore. He now has to take commands and have to follow them which are new for him. Moreover, Lester is not able to get through with his purchases as Philip is smart and is difficult to manipulate. Lester is now in an awkward position being pushed to second place. He has to listen now to the boss.
Speaking of Lester’s personality, Ben says that Lester is not a field person. His presence is vital for the series, but he is sharing power putting him in an embarrassing position. He is now sharing power, and he is much like Clegg in this context, explains Ben. The fourth series is progressing steadily with new relationships and networks in place. It is more than going says, Ben. Television is all about survival and to get going another series is impertinent.
Ben continues that if you do get a series, then you learn more about what happened earlier and how to better your performance. A series can mean that your show is a success. This series will be a mix of action, drama and comedy. The fourth series will be a classic family mix. There are some scary moments also adds Ben. He adds that some edgy moments scare the kids, and he would not allow his four-year-old son to watch it.