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      Robert Llewellyn

      Robert Llewellyn
      You likely know actor and comedian Robert Llewelyn as Kryten from Red Dwarf, but what you may not know is that he is a renewable technology enthusiast, and a rather prolific author. Sarah O’Hara finds out more.

      YOU’VE WRITTEN A NUMBER OF BOOKS, MAN ON PLATFORM 5 AND PUNCHBAG TO NAME A FEW. WHAT WERE SOME OF THE INSPIRATIONS BEHIND THEM?
      Going on what people have told me, there seems to be a theme that is in quite a lot of them - about masculinity and men, what it means to be a man and how men interact with the world - in the broadest sense. Of course there are quite a few cheap gags in there as well! It’s not something I consciously set out to do, but it’s definitely in there somewhere.

      I BELIEVE YOU HAVE A NEW BOOK COMING OUT IN SEPTEMBER?
      Yes, it’s part of a science fiction trilogy and I’m in Liverpool at the end of September to promote the third book. The first book was called News from Gardenia, and was set 200 years in the future. Instead of it being a post-apocalyptic nightmare with meteorites, zombies and only one man can save us, the book is actually the antithesis of that.

      SCIENCE-FICTION IS A POPULAR GENRE AT THE MOMENT...
      I’m hoping that it [the trilogy] will be slightly different; I’ve tried to write about a world that isn’t static or utopian. The reason why the place in the book is called Gardenia is because everybody has to work in a Garden. It’s written with the assumption that temperatures will continue to increase, so the country is a lot warmer, a lot wetter, and they’re growing oranges and grapes.

      YOU’VE MENTIONED THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE IN LIVERPOOL AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER. WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT FROM YOUR APPEARANCE?
      I’ll definitely be talking about the trilogy and I’ll also be talking about my book, Man in the Rubber Mask, which is all about playing Kryten in Red Dwarf. It’s a memoir about being in Red Dwarf for 24 years, and in fact the very first day’s filming I ever did, we were in Liverpool.

      WHY DO YOU THINK RED DWARF IS STILL SO POPULAR WITH AUDIENCES TWO DECADES ON?
      A huge amount of Red Dwarf’s popularity has to do with the writing. Doug Mader who writes the series is such a brilliant writer, but he’s very humble about it and says it’s all us guys! We’re quite a peculiar cast in the way that none of us are traditionally drama school actors. We all came out of a stand up comedy background, and we’re all good mates. I love spending time with them and it’s an absolute joy to work with them. It’s really a huge team effort.

      ASIDE FROM RED DWARF YOU ALSO WORKED ON SCRAPHEAP CHALLENGE. ARE YOU A BIT OF A ‘PETROL HEAD’ AS THEY SAY?
      Not anymore no - I’m more what they call a ‘spark head’, because I drive an electric car! I’ve been lucky in my career to drive all sorts of machinery; including cars, diggers and even tanks!


      IS IT AT ALL POSSIBLE TO SUM UP YOUR CAREER IN THREE WORDS?
      Cor blimey erm...

      I CAN TAKE THOSE THREE IF YOU’D LIKE?
      Well I think the phrase the character in my trilogy of books uses definitely sums up my career - I shouldn’t be here...but I am.

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