Spaced star Nick Frost explains why new Sky One comedy Sick Note had Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint dying with laughter
A comedy about cancer sounds in bad taste. A sitcom about someone pretending to have cancer sounds even worse. But when we visit the set of Sick Note and chat to Nick Frost, who plays bumbling doctor Iain Glennis, he’s quick to reassure, this is a classic situation (sickuation?) comedy…
So what’s it all about? Well, Harry Potter star Rupert Grint stars as the vaguely unhappy Daniel Glass. There’s nothing particularly wrong with his life, but everything’s a little off – he prefers playing video games to doing something romantic with girlfriend Becca (Harlots’ Pippa Bennett-Warner). He also hates working at We Cover Insurance, run by megalomaniac Kenny West - Don Johnson in flamboyant and playful form.
When Dr Glennis mistakenly diagnosis Daniel with cancer his life immediately and dramatically improves. So when Iain discovers he’s misdiagnosed Daniel, the two conspire to keep each other’s secrets, which turns out to be a full-time job with uncomfortable mishaps along the way in Sky One’s new six-part comedy, which will also be available on streaming service NOW TV.
Nick Frost reveals more…
Is Sick Note as dark as it sounds?
"It’s a lot of fun and a little bit dark. It sounds weird but I kind of like being in the darkness. It sounds like I’m really depressed and paranoid and I’m neither. I like the fact this all stems from a man just not telling the truth, which harks back to that Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em farcical style where you want to actually shout at the television: ‘Just stop! Just stop’. It’s that kind of comedy, which is great but it can be infuriating."
Tell us about doctor Iain Glennis…
"Iain is probably the worst oncologist in the world ever. He’s one of those shabby men who grows a big beard because he can’t be bothered to shave and wants an easy life. He’s a bit sad. He’s terribly henpecked by his very angry wife, Annette (The Inbetweeners Belinda Stewart-Wilson), and spends a lot of time sleeping in his car to avoid her."
That makes us wonder how he became a doctor!
"I think he was probably once young, dynamic and hungry to do well. But he got a bit bored and then other things took over his life, like his wife, and he’s gone off the boil a bit."
How does his relationship with Daniel develop?
"Iain thinks there’s a friendship between them straightaway. He doesn’t have any male friends at all, so oddly, he sees Daniel as his friend. They’ve something in common – they’re both awful liars and terrible people! As soon as Iain realises he and Daniel are in this together he takes advantage of it slightly and becomes like a doting father figure."
How has it been working with Rupert Grint?
"I really like the Harry Potter movies and Rupert is Ron Weasley! He’s a quiet man and great actor, who is very professional and gets on with his business. But he’s also a terrible giggler. He laughs a lot so I try not to laugh but when I’m stern it makes him worse."
And Don Johnson?
"Don’s lovely too. Everyone was a bit nervous and afraid of him, but he’s a regular man with a lot of stories. When we were filming we almost had to put more time on the day because we knew there was going to be an hour of story time throughout!"
You’ve appeared in great comedies like Spaced and Mr Sloane, is it possible to predict what an audience will find funny?
"In my opinion just try and make your mates laugh, and try and make the room laugh. I think if you set out to impress a million people you’re going to fall short. We’ve always just tried to make each other laugh and then rely on the fact there are other people out there like us!"
Which of your past projects do people tend to ask you about?
"It’s kind of evenly spread, which is nice. The rudest people in the world have no problem saying – ‘Hey, I liked Spaced, but haven’t liked anything else!’ I can spot a Spaced fan a mile off – You’re one!"
He's right you know...
Sick Note starts on Sky One on Tuesday 7 November at 10pm and TV streaming service NOW TV.
Get the What to Watch Newsletter
The latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and www.whattowatch.com covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.
As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast.
After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.