Mr Flibble Talks To... Howdy-doodly-do!
Before Robert Llewellyn, there was another Kryten. After John Lenahan there was another Toaster. Both these were one man - David Ross. Mr Flibble talks the Alan Bleasdale regular about his life as one of Britain's best actors.
5 January, 2001
David Ross
Mr Flibble's right hand provided by
Andrew Ellard

I worked with Alan when he was writer in residence at the Contact Theatre. A lot of actors who don't work so much now worked with people who were quite successful at the time, but then those people either went out of fashion or they retired or they died, and now their contacts are almost nil. So Alan has been an enormously strong influence through my whole career. I worked with him and started making my name with his stage plays, wherever they were on.

Then of course [there were] the famous touring productions of Having a Ball, of which I did two tours and an Australian tour. 22 weeks on the road, a different theatre every night. And we were packing those theatres out - because I was naked on stage! (Laughs) It was a fantastically popular play, a riotously funny piece of work. It was all about the nuclear holocaust coming, but you couldn't do it now because all that has faded away. It's killed the play stone dead. In fact, when we did it last in the Comedy Theatre in the West End, which was about 10 years ago, it was creaking a bit. We had to come off before our allotted time.

As far as his television work is concerned, I've done everything that he's written for television apart from The Monocled Mutineer. He's always saying I'm his favourite actor, and it's always very flattering. But I don't do anything other than go back with him to a time when he was still struggling, writing and setting these things up.

I was again, like Doug and Rob, able to latch on to the way he wanted those parts done, with little or no fuss. Not have to think about it too much.