I’ve got to admit, I’m not a huge television fan. I’d much rather go out for dinner or cocktails than spend the evening in front of the telly. Having said that, when I find a tv programme that’s worth it, I get completely hooked. I’m a certified True Blood and Breaking Bad addict, and on the other side of the spectrum I cannot get enough of Comedy Central’s Big Bad World. Starring Inbetweeners alum Blake Harrison alongside a host of household names including Caroline Quentin and James Fleet, the breakout star of the show has been the slightly under-the-radar actor Jay Brown. Best known for playing Bangs in E4’s Youngers, Jay plays cheeky chappy chef Dean in the show. Originally a small role, Dean has become a much-loved series regular. I recently caught up with Jay to talk Big Bad World, growing up in London and most importantly, food.
Reena: For anyone who hasn’t seen the show, can you sum it up in one sentance?
Jay: Big Bad World is basically about a guy called Ben, he’s just graduated and ended up back at home living with his parents. He gets home to find his parents have knocked through the wall between their bedrooms, so it’s just one big room.
R: Big Bad World has a fantastic cast. What is it like working with such established actors?
J: It’s amazing, there’s always a great atmosphere on set. It’s like we’re a big family. Caroline (Quentin) is lovely and David (Flynn) is hysterical. When we were filming the crabs episode (episode 7), the crabs stank but we had so much fun behind the scenes chasing each other with them.
R: Tell me about your character, Dean.
J: Dean is the chef at The Olde Cock Inn. I say chef, he’s a bit of a microwave chef, not the sort of person you want cooking your food! He’s very mischievous, really annoying and a bit mad. He works with the main character, Ben, but gives him a really hard time. Dean just harasses him, he dry dumps him a lot!
R: He wasn’t supposed to be a big role, was he?
J: It was a really small part in the beginning. In the pilot, I just got into the character and something clicked. The audience loved Dean and the directors decided to develop the character more. He’s annoying but a great character to play. I won’t give too much away but he’s got some skeletons in his closet.
R: Since you play a chef, I’ve got to ask – are you a good cook or more of a microwave chef?!
J: Yes, I’m a good cook! My favourite dish is steak with sweet potato mash and vegetables. I love going out to eat too though.
R: What are your favourite spots in London?
J: My dad had a beauty shop on Oxford Street, there’s a few places in the area that I’ve been going to for years. Efe’s on Great Titchfield Street is my favourite. I’ve been going there since I was a kid, we recently celebrated my dad’s 70th birthday there. Big Easy in Chelsea has amazing burgers. And ribs. And voodoo wings.
R: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?
J: There’s a Japanese restaurant near Baker Street. I ate boiled ducks feet. They were disgusting!