A Life in the Day (Sunday Times Magazine): Bob the Builder

I’m not an early riser. If I had my way I wouldn’t get up until 10 a.m. Lots of actors are like that though. Postman Pat’s a right lazy bastard. Everyone thinks he’s delivering the mail in the early hours when I know for a fact that, if he’s got a day off, he’ll be snoring his head off till lunchtime.

I eat a bowl of low-fat cereal with some skimmed milk and an egg come the week-end. I try to eat healthily, after a scare a few years back. I was going through some tricky times and hit the bottle. My weight ballooned and it was hard doing up my tool-belt. I knew it was time to sort myself out and that’s exactly what I did.

We film about 3 to 4 days a week and they’re long days. On the other two I have meetings with my P.R. team and sort out promotions and appearances. It’s mostly kids’ fairs and stuff, which I love, although last year G.A.Y wanted me. It was good money but, to be honest, it’s not really my scene. I’m better pottering around my garden than making double entendres about my hard hat.

We break for lunch about 12.30. I live near the studio so Spud and I often pop home for some cous-cous and salad. Most of the set know we’re an item but the producers prefer us not to shout about it because I’m quite popular with the little girls. He doesn’t speak like that in real life. He’s posher than me.

Then it’s nose to the grind until late afternoon. On occasion we go into extra time because there are a few members of the cast who are a bit temperamental. I’m not naming any names but she can be a right pain in the arse sometimes.

When the show first went big I quite enjoyed the attention. You could even say it went to my head. But there are lots of building sites in London and come the umpteenth bloke yelling, ‘Can we fix it?’, it starts to get a bit tiring. That’s original, mate, I think.

I’m lucky in that I’ve got old friends who keep me grounded but it’s also good to hang out with people who know the business. Pat and I go way back. We have a laugh with Lunar Jim too but he prefers to stay in character so there are always sniggers if we go down the pub and he’s sat there in that bloody spacesuit.

I’m particularly proud of being number 1 in the charts a few Christmases ago. Neil Morrissey did the actual singing, of course, but I like to think it was mostly my loyal fans who bought the records. My family called me Milli Vanilli over the festivities, which I can laugh about now.

After a light supper, Spud and I play Scrabble or watch a DVD. We don’t go in for the premieres and razzmatazz. Generally, I sleep well but we’re about to move house so I’m a bit stressed. Couldn’t be doing with a fixer-upper so I went for a new-build. I’m no handy-man and getting workmen in- well, it’s just not worth the flack.

People ask if I worry about being typecast but I think I’m fortunate. I earn decent money having fun, spend most of my days with the person I love and millions of children love me more than their parents.

Yes, life is pretty good.



Filed under Mini mumbo

5 responses to “A Life in the Day (Sunday Times Magazine): Bob the Builder

  1. Aubrey

    Hmm. Bob seems a much better interviewee than most of the lettuce-for-lunch crew I get lumbered with. But behind the cheery everyman persona, I still sense the quiet ache of regret and resentment…

  2. sophiestout1

    I think you’re right, Aubrey. I wondered why he was avoiding eye contact.

  3. pompom

    i think he’s funny, maybe because he was scared he’d get the sack

  4. Tamsin

    I used this today in an English lesson and the students loved it, thanks!

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