The fictional show I invented within my episode – The Lollipop Man – is about a time traveller who, whilst hiding out on earth, gets a part time job as a school crossing patrolman, but his lollipop stick can take him anywhere in time and space: so he takes children on amazing journeys…he mostly takes them on journeys of self-discovery, so, for example, with a child who's upset because his granddad has died, the Lollipop Man takes him back to the Second World War, where he gets to meet his granddad as a small, scared evacuee…and they get to play together one last time, even though it's a kid his own age he's playing with. That's what the Lollipop Man does – he helps people over the road, both literally and metaphorically.
He's got such warmth and vulnerability. And it is a part where he has to expose a lot of himself: he's playing a clapped out old actor who used to be a sci-fi hero on children's television. I worried that instead of accepting the part, he might have tracked me down and strangled me with his bare hands. But he must have found something in the character he could connect with. At one point in the episode he gets into an argument with a TV producer and tells her: "I'm fed up being told what to do by twelve-year-olds" and you can see such seething rage behind his eyes.