Danny John-Jules (‘Red Dwarf’: Series 10) interview

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Danny John-Jules returns to our screens later this month in BBC One’s Death in Paradise as laid-back police officer Dwayne Myers, ahead of the long-awaited tenth series of Red Dwarf.

CultBox caught up with Danny to find out more about Red Dwarf‘s new series…

What’s the latest on Series 10?

“The tenth series begins filming in late November.”

Will you be filming in front of a studio audience?

“Yeah, studio audience. We’ve gone back to our original format, for obvious reasons.

“Everyone missed the studio audience bit, because I do hate when people said ‘why don’t they put canned laughter on the show?’ and I’d say ‘we never put canned laughter on anyway’. Whatever laughs were on Red Dwarf came from the audience that were in there that night.

“It’s a different play, it’s a different rhythm when you’ve got a studio audience and I like that. Not everyone can do sitcom. It’s like being in the theatre and being in the TV studio at the same time.

“You get the timing and you get that thing where you can hear the audience waiting for the punchline. Or sometimes you catch them out and it just smacks them in the face. There’s always that bit of fear that you’re going to screw up the best gag in the show in front of the audience. It sorts the men out from the boys, let’s put it that way.”

How many episodes will Series 10 be?

“We’re going to be doing six half-hour episodes, the same as when we first started. The whole industry needs to go back to the basics. The whole reality thing and everyone wanting things to look like the American slick shows. The hardcore Red Dwarf fans want the wobbly sets.

“We like our old-school British sitcom. The Red Dwarf writers loved shows like Rising Damp and Porridge. We were over the moon to be doing a show that was considered to be part of that genre, with very unusual casting. You know, Porridge had a black Scotsman and the poshest guy on Rising Damp was the black guy.

“They always pushed the boundaries, those kind of shows. Red Dwarf has been on telly for 22 years and the colour of the characters’ skins has never been mentioned.”

Have you seen the Series 10 scripts yet?

“No, we haven’t had any scripts but we’ve got preliminary readings coming for any changes – ‘speak now or forever hold your piece’ time! There’s never been any question about the scripts. Usually we all just read them and go ‘wow’. Then you read a script from one of the soaps and go ‘oh dear’.

“I remember having an argument with someone in America and this woman was saying ‘I love the way you guys ad-lib in your show’. I said ‘we’ve never ad-libbed, what are you talking about? There’s never been a word on Red Dwarf that wasn’t in the shooting script.’ She just would not have it. We agreed to disagree, but that’s Americans for you!

“Now you know why the American pilot was such dross! We watched it as soon as possible, as you can imagine. Lister looked like Knight Rider! My part became a white woman: ‘What?!’ Craig famously called it ‘White Dwarf’ in an interview.

“The reason why it’s on Dave is that the BBC said there’s no audience for Red Dwarf anymore. This is what we’re up against. We’re quite happy – at the end of the day, the people who watch the show will decide whether it stays on telly or not. When a show gets three and a half million viewers on a cable channel, it’s not rocket science!”

> Read the first part of our exclusive interview with Danny, where he discusses Death in Paradise.

Are you looking forward to Series 10? Let us know below…

> Order the Series 1-8 boxset on Amazon.

Watch the Back To Earth trailer…