Mark Williams: 'Father Brown's like Columbo!'

Mark Williams: 'Father Brown's like Columbo!'
Mark Williams: 'Father Brown's like Columbo!' (Image credit: BBC/Des Willie)

Fast Show favourite Mark Williams stars as priest turned crimefighter in new daytime murder mystery series, Father Brown (opens in new tab). Here he talks tasty scones and harrowing heights! Tell us a bit about your new character, Father Brown? "Father Brown's a real whodunnit hero. He's worried about saving people's souls and, as such, these crimes really trouble him. His faith is strong and very important to him." Father Brown has a very signature look, doesn't he? "Well, G.K. Chesterton, who wrote the books, described him as wearing a wide-brimmed hat, small round metal glasses and a cassock. There's not a lot of room to manoeuvre there, so that's what I wear." Does the costume really make you get into character? "What really makes me get into the character of Father Brown is when he's listening to people. That's when I really feel like I'm being him, when he's listening and watching. I find the scenes where he confronts the baddie quite fascinating. He's very similar to Columbo." Father Brown has a nemesis in the shape of Inspector Valentine, played by Hugo Speer... "Inspector Valentine doesn't like Father Brown treading on his toes and intruding on his territory. In one scene, Father Brown overtakes Valentine's car on his bicycle. I did all my own stunts!" What do you think viewers will like most about Father Brown? "It's a very British series. But it's interesting to see how 'quintessential Britishness' has changed over the past 40 years. We definitely do 'quintessential Britishness' very differently now!" Father Brown screens on BBC1 from Monday, January 14 to Friday, January 18

Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.