The Hot 100 2011 - No. 25: Greg McHugh interview
Man behind Fresh Meat and Gary: Tank Commander
When it comes to arresting openings in new TV comedy-dramas during 2011, it’s unlikely that anything came close to Channel 4’s Fresh Meat. The sight of Greg McHugh, naked from the waist down, blow-drying a row of Peking ducks won’t leave many witness’ minds. ‘When you’ve got a sock over your front parts and a whole crew of individuals standing behind you, a scene like that certainly doesn’t seem to go by quickly.’
Through Howard, the eccentric Scottish recluse with ‘creepy Taxi Driver specs’ and scratchy beard, McHugh took the chance to prove that there is more to his comedy repertoire than the askew-minded, camp squaddie he has crafted into a BAFTA-winning BBC Scotland show, Gary: Tank Commander. Created and overseen by Peep Show’s Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, Fresh Meat threw McHugh up against the likes of Robert Webb, Joe Thomas and Jack Whitehall, and with a second series having been given the go-ahead, McHugh will hopefully have the chance to develop his loveable oddball further.
Not that McHugh is neglecting ‘Gurry’, whose second series hit screens this year (he’s currently penning season three) and took him onto the Glasgow King’s stage for a Palestine benefit gig in March. ‘What I always do just before performing is to go through the set, so I’ll find a corner and be Gary there. I think if you were to CCTV me, you’d see me walking as Gary and talking to myself as Gary and that would be quite disturbing, but no one else gets to see that. I don’t have any nerves walking on in front of a camera any more, other than maybe the first day of filming, but in stand-up they never go away. Especially at the King’s where I was following Frankie Boyle, who is just phenomenal.’
McHugh answered our First Word Q&A back in January - read it here.