Time to Clock Off and move on!; Clocking Off star Philip Glenister is moving on once the latest series of the award-winning drama ends. Phil Gould finds out why.
CLOCKING OFF BBC1/Thursday
ACTOR Philip Glenister will be Clocking Off in more ways than one when the new series of the popular BBC1 drama returns to our screens.
The award-winning programme is back for a third series but it is going to be the last time Glenister will play messed-up factory boss James 'Mack' Mackintosh.
The 38-year-old actor felt it was time to bid farewell to the gritty northern drama despite the fact it has won numerous accolades during its first two runs.
He explains: "It is going to be my last Clocking Off. I think they have done as much as they can with my character. It's best to get out."
While he has been unlucky in love in the past, this time around Mack becomes a winner in the bedroom stakes. But Glenister admits the prospect of filming passionate love scenes is not something he relishes.
"There's a couple of love scenes in this series. I started panicking about them even before I'd seen the script, " he jokes.
"My first thought was to go to one of those all over tan places. But it was too late to rush off to the gym. So, it was just a case of holding my stomach in and apologising to the poor girl who had to endure it. When I did a show called The Perfect Blue I had to film a montage of love scenes. It was like making a porn film with the director shouting instructions out to us.
"It was just so embarrassing.
When I do bedroom scenes my first thought is always 'oh no - my grandmother will be watching this."
His departure from the show means he will get to see more of his girlfriend, actress Beth Goddard, who plays Suze in BBC1 comedy Gimme Gimme Gimme.
THE couple, who have been together for five years, originally met while working on BBC1 comedy Roger Roger. But it was an introduction by a mutual friend which led to romance.
Glenister says: "We had one scene together in Roger Roger but didn't really speak to each other.
"We got introduced by a friend and chatted a bit. But to tell you the truth I was a bit intimidated by her.
"I knew she was an actress and I'd seen her in a couple of TV shows. Luckily I'd had a few drinks and that gave me the nerve to ask her out to dinner. I could hardly believe it when she said yes."
While they both seem to be earning their fair share of TV roles individually, Glenister says they do not have any burning desire to form an on screen partnership.
"We don't sit at home thinking 'darling we must work together'. I think if the right thing came up we would do it. Beth's a smashing actress. Her timing is wonderful - that's why she keeps getting cast in comedies."
London-born Glenister has worked on the fringes of showbusiness since he was a teenager - even before he decided it was an actor's life for him.
"One of my first jobs was as a runner for rock entrepreneur Robert Stigwood at his London headquarters.
"It was just after Grease and Saturday Night Fever. The Bee Gees would walk past me and I would just stare at them.
"Eric Clapton would come in and Robert Stigwood would appear a few times a year. It was an amazing education for a lad from the suburbs."
He was encouraged to pursue an acting career by his older brother Robert, who started working as an actor in the early 80s. Although they are both in the same profession, there is no rivalry.
"We do look quite alike but we manage to have pretty separate careers, " says Glenister. "We don't go for the same parts. Rob is three years older than me.
"He's been acting for a long time and is a well-known face. But people are often mixing us up."
Before enjoying his current success, Glenister had to spend time treading the boards and he is not too happy about the current spate of reality TV shows which offer unknowns instant fame.
"Programmes like Soapstars just make anybody think they can do our jobs and I think that is a disgrace.
HERE are people out there who are talented. They go through drama school and are prepared to do two or three jobs a week just so they can try and break into acting.
"These days, you have people saying they want to be famous but they don't have a talent. They just want fame.
"These are the people who are going to get screwed up by it all.
It's going to destroy them."
Although Glenister seems to be enjoying a good run of TV shows, having recently starred alongside Michelle Collins in cop drama Lloyd & Hill and Amanda Holden in The Hunt, he is not resting on his laurels.
"Every time I read an interview with an actor saying the scripts are falling through the door I just think that is absolute rubbish. I don't believe a word of it.
"You get to another level when you are in a well-known series. But I'm always surprised when I'm offered a new part. My first reaction is how many people have turned it down?"
LAST SERIES: Philip Glenister as Mack, left, and Jack Deam as Kev in a new series of Clocking Off. Philip will be leaving at the end of the run