Blogtor Who takes a look at the life and career of Leo Flanagan, who’ll be playing Charlie Duffy in Kerblam!
There have always been three type of actor to appear in Doctor Who. Those who fervently declare themselves massive long time fans while reaching dimly into their memory for details of ‘the one with the maggots’. Those who, like David Tennant, could list off every episode title in order from memory. (And by ‘episode title’ Blogtor Who don’t mean ‘An Unearthly Child, The Daleks, The Edge of Destruction…’ but ‘An Unearthly Child, The Cave of Skulls, The Forest of Fear…‘) And those who cheerfully admit to not knowing their Daleks from their Quarks. Of those, Leo Flanagan appears to be very much the real deal.
Flanagan’s talked about his upcoming role as Charlie in Kerblam! in terms of it being a pay off for all those childhood years running around with his toy sonic screwdriver. But more than that, last year – when Kerblam! was still just a twinkle in Pete McTighe’s eye – he prepared for The Pilot by having a Doctor Who binge watch. And not starting with Rose, either…
— Leo Flanagan (@Leo_Flanagan) April 14, 2017
The former Waterloo Road star is a true Doctor Who fan
His dedication to everyone’s favourite Time Lord is so great he once even spent a weekend at a Doctor Who convention in London, even though he had an early call in Scotland the next morning. Missing his flight and winding up on a seven hour, four hundred mile, bus trip that saw him arrive on set with only minutes to spare. And that’s before we even get into the fact that his answer to the perennial interview question “If you were an animal, what animal would you be?” is… “An Ood.”
So the queue to start chanting “One of us! One of us!” forms on the left. But, apart from his fan credentials, what about his acting ones?
Like many of the cast in this season’s Doctor Who, Flanagan’s career has roots firmly in the North of England. He studied Performing Arts at Bury College in Manchester where he was, by all accounts, seen as a future star. Having graduated with a triple distinction, he was quickly scouted by talent agents. This lead to his joining the long running school drama Waterloo Road in its tenth season. As Floyd Westbrook, he attempted to navigated love in the corridors of the UK’s most dramatic comprehensive only to be deflected by the discovery that his sister was having an affair with their stepbrother. Complicated by their father being the school principal and their mother the art teacher it was… pretty typical for a term at Waterloo Road, actually.
Flanagan’s career has included guest roles in shows as diverse as Fresh Meat and The Bisexual
The same year he played Josh in the prestigious anthology series Moving On, and since then has guested in shows such as the Jack Whitehall vehicle Fresh Meat. Most memorably he appeared in last year’s brilliant Channel 4 drama The Bisexual. There he was Jamie, the boyfriend (and clueless beard) of closeted lesbian Deniz. As Jamie, Flanagan expertly walked the difficult line of ensuring Jamie was nice enough that Deniz wasn’t diminished in the audience’s eyes by going out with him, but obnoxious enough that they didn’t feel remotely sorry for his inevitable dumping.
On film, he had a small part in Billie Piper’s writing and directorial debut Rare Beasts. Meanwhile, on stage, he appeared in innovative and experimental productions like Little Fish Theatre’s Seventeen to the Power of Three, about the collision between rights and responsibilities in our teenage years.
Blogtor Who won’t say much about his role in Kerblam! as Flanagan lists spoilers as one of the few things in this world that truly annoy him. But suffice to say, with Pete McTighe’s story set to be a classic and old school Doctor Who mix of the fun and the creepy, Flanagan knows the tone to hit perfectly.
The Doctor Who adventure continues…
Doctor Who continues this Sunday at 6.30pm GMT on BBC One and at 8pm EST on BBC America with Kerblam! by Pete McTighe. For further broadcast times in your region, check local listings. Series 11 stars Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien) and Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair).
Kerblam! guest stars Julie Hesmondhalgh and Lee Mack and is directed by Jennifer Perrott.
“Delivery for the Doctor!”
A mysterious message arrives in a package addressed to the Doctor. It leads her, Graham, Yaz and Ryan to investigate the warehouse moon orbiting Kandoka, and the home of the galaxy’s largest retailer: Kerblam!