Dirk Gently Star Stephen Mangan Exclusive

“I do feel the pressure, because there’s a big fanbase,” admits the star of the new BBC Four adaptation

In the new issue of SFX (in the shops next Wednesday, 15 December) there’s a full interview with Stephen Mangan ( Green Wing , Free Agents ), the comic actor who’s bringing Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently to BBC Four later this month. Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite:

“I do feel pressure that there’s a big fanbase, absolutely. I played Adrian Mole years ago and I felt a similar pressure because it’s almost as if you’re playing a real person, but a real person who everyone thinks looks different, in a slightly different way or who they’ve got a different idea of.”

But he’s taking a pragmatic approach:

“Firstly they hired me so they’re obviously after some of the qualities that I possess. You take a bit of pressure off yourself there and go, ‘Well they’re not expecting me to perform it as Brian Blessed or Michael Caine would.’ I brought a bit of who I am, what I find funny, what I find interesting to it. So it’s the classic cry of people when they see books filmed – ‘Oh it’s not how I imagined it’. Well no. At some point you have to make a decision about certain things and we have.

““It’s got to be funny. If it’s not funny it will have failed because there are a lot of detective stories out there and they’re already well covered for serious, flawed detectives. So what this brings is the quirkiness, the oddness, the intelligence, the wit, the strangeness. The central dynamic of the whole show is me and Darren [Boyd], they’re like a double act. We get on very well but he’s six foot four which is quite annoying because I’m going to look very short.”