entertainment

A day on the 'Cucumber' set with Andrew Hayden-Smith

2014-09-18
I'm lucky enough to have been cast in two exciting new shows from Queer As Folk creator Russell T Davies, coming to Channel 4 and E4 early next year. Cucumber will explore the passions and pitfalls of modern gay life for Henry, Clive and co., while Banana will tell a different story each episode and reveal a little more about the characters seen in Cucumber. It’s a fun atmosphere on set with all of the cast and crew getting along famously, while working hard together to produce something we hope you’re going to like. I know you’re going to like it. Just you wait. Come and join me for a typical day on the set of Cucumber... IMG_311706:00 - I'm rudely awoken by my alarm clock. Oh the glamour! I get showered and dressed before heading down to reception in the hotel to meet the other cast members so we can travel to base. It's a big day on the set of Cucumber today. Lots of cast involved so that means an early start... and plenty of make-up! 08:50 - After a quick breakfast, we get into costume (some are wearing a little less than others!) and are driven to set. Let's get this show on the road then! 09:15 - Vincent Franklin, Con O’Neill and Julie Hesmondhalgh, who play Henry, Cliff and Cleo respectively, have already started filming the first scene of the day. It's a tricky one so there's some rehearsal time to make sure we've got it absolutely right. No pressure then; I'm still getting over the fact I'm working with Hayley from Corrie! 11:00 - The main man is in the building! Writer and creator of Cucumber and Banana, Russell T Davies joins us on set to say a friendly hello and make sure we're all behaving ourselves. 11:25 - That's the first scene complete and it'll be a while until I'm needed again, so I go and put my feet up back at base, drink copious amounts of coffee and take a LOT of selfies. IMG_312213:30 - Lunchtime. I've never known a cast that eats as few carbs as this lot, although when you see some of the 'costumes', you'll realise why we might be image-conscious. Freddie Fox hasn't so much as looked at carbs since he started filming. He's even planned exactly what he's going to tuck into the day after he's finished filming (a stack of American style pancakes, FYI.) 15:05 - We're all back on set for the big scene of the day. Everyone's here. A big lighting rig and crane have arrived on location and there are tons of supporting artistes, including a trio of muscle boys in very tiny speedos. 'Aaaaand...ACTION'! 15:55 - In between takes, I have a chat with the lovely Bethany Black who plays Helen. It's Beth's first TV gig but she's certainly no stranger to performing, as she's a regular on the standup comedy circuit. You should also know that she has the most infectious laugh in the history of the world. Ever. IMG_320217:00 - Here come the teatime snacks to keep our energy up. Muffins, cakes and sweets, oh my! Having seen my costume for tomorrow, I think I'll pass. *cries* 18:25 - Fisayo Akinade (who plays Dean) kicks off an impromptu sing-song of Mambo No.5 and the whole cast joins in. Even Producer Matt Strevens gets in on the action! Honestly, and they call this work?! 19:00 - That's a wrap! Scene complete. We all head back to base to get changed into our own clothes before travelling back to the hotel for some serious cast bonding over drinks and spicy food. Some of us stay up a little later than expected - I'm mentioning no names! 23:00 Bedtime. Ready to do it all again tomorrow. Night! Follow Andrew Hayden-Smith on Twitter @AndrewHaydSmith or visit his official website. > Channel 4 boss: ‘Cucumber’ will lightly outrage Daily Mail’ > Rufus Hound joins Channel 4 gay drama 'Cucumber'