Mackenzie Crook Detectorists Interview

2015-11-06

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Mackenzie Crook spills the beans about the new series and admits the first series of Detectorists turned out exactly show he had seen it in his head

On what to expect from the second series? Mackenzie told the radiotimes: It has been really important to keep the elements of the show that people seemed to warm to. So the tone will be the same. There will be no car chases or drug deals in series two. Simon and Garfunkel return too!

Mackenzie Crook

44 year-old actor Mackenzie Crook found fame in The Office, which first aired from 2001 to 2003, launched huge careers for the likes of Martin Freeman and Gervais.

But playing twerp Gareth Keenan also heralded a new chapter in Mackenzie’s life. In the same year the show began he married Lindsay, the mum of his two children, Jude, 12, and Scout, seven.

Then he quickly landed a part in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He played hapless pirate Ragetti in The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003, Dead Man’s Chest in 2006 and At World’s End in 2007.

Despite the good times on set, Mackenzie admits: “It’s such a vast monster, Pirates of the Caribbean, you did only feel like little parts in a big machine – that sounds really scathing.

“Yes, we were in these tropical locations but I wasn’t with my family a lot of the time. My wife was pregnant with our first child and he was born during the first movie.

“I had to fly back to Britain for his birth and they came out to the Caribbean when he was just three weeks old.”

But success on film and TV has only come after a hard struggle to get his ­fledgling career off the ground.

He shakes his head when he recalls his lowest time. He had flown to the Greek island of Kos in 1997 to perform a series of stand-up comedy gigs only to find out they had been cancelled. Stranded hundreds of miles from home, he was at rock bottom.

Describing it as the worst moment of his life, Mackenzie reveals how he suffered a breakdown and planned to quit showbiz. He says: “I was really, really low and on the brink of deciding ‘That’s it’.”

“It was scary – I hadn’t felt those things before. I was so despondent. It was some sort of breakdown. It was a horrible time.

“I was stuck in this place, so I just went out and got wasted, to drown it all. But it continued after I got back home.

“It took a long while to pull myself out of whatever it was I was in.”

A year after his Greek tragedy, he started working on Channel 4 comedy programme The 11 O’Clock Show with Ricky Gervais who, along with Stephen Merchant, later created The Office.

“If I hadn’t, my life might have gone on a completely different path,” Mackenzie says. “Who knows what I’d be doing now.”

Well, what he’s doing now is launching a second series of his award-winning BBC4 comedy Detectorists .

And a sign of how his life has been ­transformed is he didn’t flinch when he turned down Disney’s offer to be in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean sequel alongside Depp, as the filming schedule clashed with making Detectorists.

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