In mid April 1989, I walked into a basement office in Denmark Street, London and met Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. They wanted me to play Kryten in their BBC series, Red Dwarf. I thought I'd be doing it for 6 weeks.
21 years later and it's still around. I think I can honestly say I didn't expect that.
We recorded the last full series of Red Dwarf for BBC 2 in 1998, 11 years later, in 2009 we recorded a 3 episode special for the Dave channel, titled 'Back to Earth.' Although some hardcore Red Dwarf fans were critical of the latest offering, it was generally very well received. It garnered the biggest audience Dave has ever had, it still holds the record for the biggest audience of any show on non terrestrial TV, or something like that. Dave is a cable and satellite only channel, or is it a digital channel, someone will tell me the correct descriptive term. Anyway, it did good.
In early 2010 Dave announced that they had commissioned Red Dwarf for a new series of 6 episodes. Doug Naylor has been writing the new scripts, none of the cast have seen them. I am in regular contact with Craig Chalres, Danny John Jules and Chris Barrie. We talk, we ask each other 'have you heard anything?' The answer is always no.
One of the reasons for the difficulty in shooting a new series is cast availability. As regular followers on Twitter will have surmised, I'm quite busy. However, along with Chris and Danny I have a schedule that is fairly flexible if I have enough warning. Craig on the other hand is a regular on Coronation Street and it's a lot more complicated for him. I would imagine that there has been a lot of talking going on regarding Craig's availability.
That said, we have all said we are up for doing another series. I know I am going to have to get rubbered up again. As the years pass, this is not getting any easier, it's a very debilitating experience spending day after day in a hot studio covered in rubber and plastic. I realise there may be some individuals who would pay good money to be so attired, I'm not one of them.
As soon as I hear any solid, confirmed, concrete news about a new series, I will post it here. I promise.