Nothing But TV Interview: Tom Brittney on his Grantchester debut.

Grantchester starring Robson Green and James Norton, and new cast member Tom Brittney, returns to ITV for a fourth series.

James Norton, who plays the charismatic, jazz-loving clergyman, Sidney Chambers, will make his final appearance during the series. Clergyman Will Davenport, played by Tom Brittney, becomes DI Geordie Keating’s new crime-solving partner in 1950s Grantchester.

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Tom tell us more…

Had you seen Grantchester before?

“I had seen the first episode when it originally came out. I was at my parents’ house and my mum, who is a fan of the show, was watching it, but as is the way with an actor’s life I never had time to watch the rest of it. Then once I got the job I made a conscious effort not to watch it so I didn’t put myself off by seeing how good a vicar James Norton was as Sidney, so I could come to it with fresh eyes and see it anew.”


Was it daunting joining an already established cast?

“It was one of the most terrifying things I have ever done in my life. Not just because of the size of the role but because I was stepping into an already well-established, well-loved and critically acclaimed show. I was a big fan of James Norton and although I’m not taking the same role, it’s a completely different character, I knew what Sidney Chambers meant to people. So there was that pressure in hoping they like Will as much as they loved Sidney.”


Was it daunting joining an already established cast?

“It was one of the most terrifying things I have ever done in my life. Not just because of the size of the role but because I was stepping into an already well-established, well-loved and critically acclaimed show. I was a big fan of James Norton and although I’m not taking the same role, it’s a completely different character, I knew what Sidney Chambers meant to people. So there was that pressure in hoping they like Will as much as they loved Sidney.”


Did James Norton give you any advice?

“The two pieces of advice he had were, ‘Have fun,’ and ‘Keep your phone in your top pocket so noone can see it.’ James and everyone else welcomed me as part of the Grantchester family


Will drives a motorbike. Did you have to take lessons?

“I had to take motorbike lessons. Originally Will was going to be driving a sports car, then at the last minute they changed that to a motorbike. So I got a call saying, ‘Do you ride a motorbike?’ I said, ‘No. Never been on one. Never thought I would go on one.’"


Grantchester again features several storylines relevant to today. Do you agree?

“What is wonderful about Grantchester is it isn’t just a procedural crime show that makes Britain look all lovely and twee. It has those parts of quintessential British life but it also doesn’t shy away from the darker parts of that time period, things that are still relatable now. The first episode deals with race, there’s sexual assault and other dark storylines which are still relevant today. “We are in a time at the moment where people are trying to go backwards, both here and in America, ‘Back to the good old days.’ A lot of people look back to the 1950s with rose-tinted glasses and view it as a wonderful, innocent time, but really when you examine that period it wasn’t like that at all and Grantchester doesn’t shy away from that.”