The former League of Gentlemen star on his love of low-budget British spinechillers, his loathing of Brexit and a slew of projects opening this winter

Mark Gatiss scans the breakfast menu at an east London restaurant with a famished eye. We’re at the hinge moment between the nightlife of an A-lister, who attended the James Bond premiere the previous evening, and the day job as an actor who, by his own account, could only land a role he had wanted all his life by writing the play himself. “It was a long evening,” he says of No Time to Die. He hadn’t had dinner and was trying to stave off the hunger pangs by sipping water, but not too much, because he couldn’t get out to the loo: “So I’m just really hungry.” He’s like a jovial Eeyore, painting himself into a lugubrious picture of the turnip fields of celebrity, before deciding, with a giggle, that a hearty breakfast of avocado on toast is exactly what’s needed to put everything to rights.

This is certainly no time to die of hunger for Gatiss, who has rocketed out of the pandemic as one of British showbusiness’s most sought-after all-rounders. He’s currently putting the finishing touches to his remake of the 1972 children’s film The Amazing Mr Blunden while rehearsing his new adaptation of A Christmas Carol. The latest in a series of half-hour ghost stories, The Mezzotint, is ready to roll into his now customary slot on the Christmas TV schedules. But it’s not all fear and Victorian clothing, he spent part of the lost year in the Outer Hebrides, playing a country doctor in a first world war romance, The Road Dance, and another part messing about in a pedalo on a boating lake with his old League of Gentlemen muckers Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith for a new series of their TV comedy Inside No 9.

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