Ben Bailey Smith: 'Bradley Walsh and Ricky Gervais are both like big kids!'

(Image credit: Empics Entertainment)

Law & Order: UK new boy Ben Bailey Smith says his co-stars Bradley Walsh and Ricky Gervais both share a childlike demeanour.

Comedian and rapper Ben has enjoyed working with Bradley on the new series, making his debut as DS Joe Hawkins opposite Bradley's DS Ronnie Brooks. But he says that the actor and host of The Chase is rather keen on larking about.

Meanwhile, after collaborating with Ricky on several occasions, most notably in Channel 4 comedy Derek and on spoof Comic Relief song Equality Street, Ben has first-hand knowledge of the award-winning writer's similar naughtiness.

"What I love about Ricky is similar to what I love about Bradley. He’s a big playful child. It's like they’ve never grown up, they’re in touch with the best things about childhood, that creative freedom, that lack of self consciousness, saying what you feel, messing around and improvisation," says Ben, who is planning a series of musical comedy shows with Ricky.

"Bradley and I get into trouble all the time on Law & Order, he is the ultimate clown and a bad influence, but he keeps everyone's spirits up. Ricky doesn't stop taking the mickey either. He’ll make the most inappropriate jokes that are really personal, but he’s so warm, charitable and generous. He’s a really good guy, but he understands that the best comedy is provocative, that’s why half the people love him and half hate him."

The new series of Law & Order: UK premieres on Wednesday, March 12. For the full interview buy TV & Satellite Week, on sale now.

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.