A couple of years before I left England, I decided to find myself a new acting agent. With agent No.1 I’d played down those early movies as Adam and was happy to blend into the background.
Of course, that was never going to last too long. Still, that policy of concealment got me some interesting walk-ons in films such as Captain America: The First Avenger and X-Men: First Class, both of which I died in. (I’m talking about my on-screen characters. Then again…)
In London, 2012, I got chatting to a chap on the set of Fast And Furious 6, in the disused Aldwych tube station (my most memorable contribution was telling Gina Carano she had a dusty bottom. Off- camera, sadly.). He happened to be an Adam in real life, and told me to play up the salacious past, as it showed confidence in front of the cameras, and recommended his agent. He loved people who can put it out there, so to speak.
I duly made the switch and what do you know? Almost immediately I was asked if I would be up for a nude scene for a sketch on the brand new BBC comedy series Live At The Electric, hosted by Russell Kane.
The scene was a pre-filmed sequence shot in the leafy environs of Ealing, and saw the all-female Lady Garden (in the, erm, rear of the still) supported by five of us bold and dauntless guys and dolls. The appropriately named Lady Garden were a short-lived comedy quartet comprising of Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson, Eleanor Thom, Camille Ucan. The blonde bobbed Beattie happens to be the daughter of Adrian Edmonson and Jennifer Saunders, and grew up in Devon, in a 400-year-old granite longhouse on Dartmoor land once owned by my Pafford ancestors. I kid you not.
Anyhow, let me assure you. There is NO better ice breaker than getting naked with your new colleagues. More offices up and down the land should have days like these as a way of making sure their team bond as swiftly as possible. Not so much Dress Down Friday, more Dress Off Friday. And Monday. And Tuesday. And, while you’re at it, Wednesday and Thursday too.
It worked for us. During a break between takes, some of the background artistes for a later scene came in to find us sitting sipping coffee in various states of undress. “I can’t believe you’re sitting there without your trousers on,” exclaimed one. But that was the whole point. We’d seen everything of everyone already, so nakedness was simply no longer an issue. Silly Brits. You don’t find the Germans or the Dutch or the Scandinavians with such a schoolyard nudge-nudge wink-wink response to each others bodies. The Carry On films could only ever have been made in Britain.
So, to the scene in hand: click the video for the full scene reveal. And in case it’s a view of me you’re not overly familiar with, I’m the one chatting up the blonde secretary replete with super-classy sock garters. Look mum, I’m nude on the BBC and I didn’t even have to show sausage! (Makes a change, said everyone else ever.)