Ben Bailey Smith: ‘Bradley Walsh and Ricky Gervais are both like big kids!’

Law & Order: UK new boy Ben Bailey Smith says his co-stars Bradley Walsh and Ricky Gervais both share a childlike demeanour.

Comedian and rapper Ben has enjoyed working with Bradley on the new series, making his debut as DS Joe Hawkins opposite Bradley’s DS Ronnie Brooks. But he says that the actor and host of The Chase is rather keen on larking about.

Meanwhile, after collaborating with Ricky on several occasions, most notably in Channel 4 comedy Derek and on spoof Comic Relief song Equality Street, Ben has first-hand knowledge of the award-winning writer’s similar naughtiness.

“What I love about Ricky is similar to what I love about Bradley. He’s a big playful child. It’s like they’ve never grown up, they’re in touch with the best things about childhood, that creative freedom, that lack of self consciousness, saying what you feel, messing around and improvisation,” says Ben, who is planning a series of musical comedy shows with Ricky.

“Bradley and I get into trouble all the time on Law & Order, he is the ultimate clown and a bad influence, but he keeps everyone’s spirits up. Ricky doesn’t stop taking the mickey either. He’ll make the most inappropriate jokes that are really personal, but he’s so warm, charitable and generous. He’s a really good guy, but he understands that the best comedy is provocative, that’s why half the people love him and half hate him.”

The new series of Law & Order: UK premieres on Wednesday, March 12. For the full interview buy TV & Satellite Week, on sale now.