The long awaited third series of Toast of London airs this week (Wednesday, 10:30pm, Channel Four), and you’re in for a real treat.
TVO’s newest recruit, Jess Gerber, recently attended the series launch, which featured a Q&A from the show’s writers Matt Berry and Arthur Matthews.
Her thoughts are below…
The epic Toast of London is returning to its home on Channel 4, and is bringing all the bells and whistles with it! The general plot of the series has not changed, but feels enhanced by wittier writing than ever, as Steven Toast gets himself into all kinds of unthinkable situations. All the quirky regular characters, such as Toast’s hilarious house mate Ed Howzer-Black (Robert Bathhurst), his colourful agent Jane Ploug (Doon Mackichan) and the unforgettable Ray “Bloody” Purchase (TVO’s Harry Peacock), are back and up to their usual, entertaining mischief. And there are also some exciting and surprising guest appearances from the likes of Paul Whitehouse and Jon Hamm to savour too!
As well as the fantastic new episodes, the highlight of the evening was a Q&A session at the end with Matt and Arthur Matthews, hosted by Adam Buxton. Of course, the first thing everyone wanted to know was what Jon Hamm was like, and how did he come about being in Toast?
Matt and Arthur were both very chuffed to have Jon guest star, which came about due to Matt’s work over the pond, and the wonderful connections he’s made along the way. Many people he met there know about Toast of London and they love it. When Jon was approached to be a guest star in Toast, he was delighted to do it as as a fan of the show… and they also added that he smelled fantastic!
Berry and Matthews also spoke about how they make their long distance writing partnership work. With Matt living in London and Arthur living in Ireland, they utilise the wonders of modern technology to send each other ideas and bits and bobs as they come to mind, and slowly piece it all together.
They also explained that even though they have brought in some pretty big guest stars and come up with some explosive new plot twists, they have not made very many changes to the skeleton formula of the show, as it works – and they like it – just how it is. As Matt explained: “It makes Arthur and I laugh, and it seems to make others laugh, so we are happy with it.“ And we agree: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Finally, Adam asked Matt if he enjoys playing the character of Steven Toast, and of course asked him to do some Toast’s voices. Matt exclaimed that Toast is great fun to play as he is such a fool, and it is fun to be so socially awkward and get away with it. He told us that most of the voice work he does he just comes up with on the spot and is influenced by the fact that when he was younger his mother used to take him to the theatre a lot. He was fascinated by how loudly the actors spoke even when they were not acting, and the amusing way they would over pronounce some of their words.
Very few TV shows can tell the tale of a theatre actor and still manage to have that theatre magic and feel to it. Toast of London has done this brilliantly, and it’s a joy to have it back on our screens. Series Three does not disappoint.