Jim Howick - 'I cried when Peep Show bosses told me I was dying!'

Jim Howick
Jim Howick played Gerard in Peep Show for five years

Jim Howick is all over our screens at the moment, winning plaudits for his lead roles in BBC2 black comedy Stag and upcoming E4 drama The Aliens. 

Yet despite his recent success, he says the greatest moment of his career was being cast in his favourite programme back in 2007.

Jim played Gerard Matthews, a work colleague of Mark (David Mitchell) and later a rival for Dobby’s affections until he died of flu in the first episode of series eight.

"There was a tear in my eye when they told me I was going to die," says Jim. "Essentially it’s like being made redundant, without any severance pay!"

"I was upset to leave and upset to leave the team most of all, because I had a job in my favourite show. I entered in series four, so it was well established and probably at its height at the time. I was extremely lucky to join and it was an honour to be in the series."

Following Gerard’s death, Mark briefly dated Dobby, before their romance ended in disaster. But would the story have been different if Gerard had survived?

"No, I don’t think so," Jim explains. "It was written in the stars, Dobby wasn’t for either of us!"

But while he didn’t think Gerard would ever end up with Dobby, Jim admits to dreaming up ways in which his character could have returned to the show following his death… 

"What I would have loved is if Dobby had run off to New York and Gerard had rocked up with someone else – a Dobby twin. Or perhaps Gerrard could have had an evil twin?"

"Or maybe even come back as a ghost, a bit of supernatural element to Peep Show? That would have been entertaining!"

Stag continues on Saturday at 9pm on BBC2


Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for whattowatch.com. He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.