Celebrities choose the TV moments that have shaped their lives. Joe Swash talks about his time on EastEnders and which army drama was watched religiously in the Swash household.
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TV - the magic box of delights.
As kids, it showed us a million different worlds
all from our living room.
-That was state-of-the-art.
-I loved this.
'Each day, I'm going to journey through
'the wonderful world of telly...'
-'..with one of our favourite celebrities...'
-We're going into space.
-It's just so silly.
-'..as they select the iconic TV moments...'
-My God, this is the scene.
'..that tell us the stories of their lives.'
I absolutely adored this.
-'Some will make you laugh...'
Don't watch the telly, Esther. Watch me.
-'..some will surprise...'
No way! Where did you find this?
'..many will inspire...'
It used to transport us to places that we could only dream about.
'..and others will move us.'
I am emotional now.
Today, we look even more deeply.
Why wouldn't you want to watch this?
So, come watch with us as we rewind to the classic telly
that helped shape those wide-eyed youngsters
into the much-loved stars they are today.
-Welcome to The TV That Made Me.
My guest today has been the King of the Jungle,
the star of the Square.
It can only be the one and only Joe Swash.
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-You all right?
-Sit yourself down there.
Thank you very much.
Look at that cheer. They love you, Joe.
A gentleman who is humble, shy, modest, tough, deadly, resourceful,
at the peak of his physical fitness and mental alertness,
-Oh, stop it.
..devastatingly beautiful young lady.
Here, let me give you that.
Thanks for that, mate. THEY LAUGH
-Oh, thank you very much indeed.
-Don't spend it at once.
Joe Swash began his career as a child actor
before graduating to Albert Square.
His character, Mickey Miller,
was a wide boy with an eye for the ladies,
a part that fitted Joe like a glove.
We all loved Mickey, but after five glorious years in Walford,
Joe surprised us all when he turned up down under
as King of the Jungle.
The TV that made him includes
the show that made a drama out of an emergency,
the comedy of a catchphrase king...
-I am turning the television off.
..and the soap that made him a star.
It's burning a hole in my pocket.
-Are you excited about the day, looking back?
When they asked me to do this
and started speaking about the programmes that I'd done,
all these memories come flying back that you forgot about.
So, it was like kind of walking through your history a little bit.
It was nice.
Yeah. So, we're going to go back to your childhood.
-Yeah, my childhood cos they're my most vivid memories of TV.
I think TV is everywhere these days,
so, as a kid, it really does shape your view
on what you like and what you don't like.
So, yeah, it'll be nice to show you my childhood programmes.
-Oh, I'm looking forward to it, mate.
And there's so many I forgot about as well.
All these other programmes come flying back.
-We'll do another show with you.
-I've got loads for you.
-We'll do a series just on Joe.
-You don't need any more guests.
-Just me and you, innit?
-Just me and you.
-Give me that.
First up, we're going to rewind the clock
and have a look at a very young Joe Swash.
Oh, right. OK, this is interesting.
Joe Swash is a Londoner through and through.
He was born in Islington in 1982
to doting parents Ricky and Catherine.
Sadly, Ricky died of a heart condition
when Joe was just 12,
which made the bond between him and his two younger sisters,
Caisie and Shana, even stronger.
Joe went to the famous Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington
where he studied alongside young talents like Natalie Cassidy.
They both went on to join the cast of EastEnders
where Joe was joined by his real-life sister Shana,
who played his on-screen sister Demi.
What was the young Joe Swash like?
Oh, you know what? I reckon the young Joe Swash...
-I reckon I was probably very hard to live with.
Yeah, cos I had a lot of energy and I needed to do stuff
and touch stuff, and I broke a lot of stuff as a kid.
I think I tested my mum's patience.
So, TV, for my mum, was like a blessing
cos that was the only time I'd sit down and not do nothing for a while.
Have you got trouble with haemorrhoids at the moment?
LAUGHTER I think they're all right.
Then why are you sitting on my pillow?
It makes me feel slightly taller. LAUGHTER
-It's like a booster seat.
-Do you feel inferior?
You're a big man, aren't you? You've got a good frame on you, Bri.
So, that's what made you sit on my pillow.
-Yeah, I've got a habit of sitting on pillows.
So, you know, this sort of frantic person, as a child,
you know, breaking stuff and everything else,
was there anything wrong with you?
Well, if you ask my mum, she'll probably say there was.
HE LAUGHS I think I just had a lot of energy
-as a kid, so, you know...
-But you always have.
-You're always full of life, full of energy.
-Does Joe Swash ever sort of go...?
Is it when you're watching the telly? Do you relax then?
I think that is my time of relaxation, is watching the telly.
I know I should be doing other stuff, like, you know,
going for a run, you know, doing some sort of paperwork,
but when I'm in front of the TV,
I can really just turn off and kind of just do nothing.
My brain's got...my brain don't stop working.
It's always thinking about something else.
So, when the TV's on, me and the TV, we've got a great relationship.
-Do you find it difficult to sleep? Are you a bit of an insomniac?
I have the TV on in the background when I sleep. I put it on a timer.
So, I need to have that sort of talking in the background.
So, the TV, not only do I watch it,
I use it to go to bed, it wakes me up in the...
It's like having a girlfriend, my TV.
Now it's time for your first TV choice.
-This is your earliest TV memory.
-Well, let's just take a look, shall we?
-Yes. You see, furry face...
-you'd make a lot of money.
-CASH REGISTER CHIMES
-Do you remember this?
-Grotbags? Yeah, I do vaguely remember it.
There's a lot of cash to be made from an improved mouse restrainer.
'The programme revolved around the everyday lives
'of Carol Lee Scott's pantomime witch Grotbags
'and her puppet minions.'
Dodos hardly constitute a mass market.
'The show owed much of its broad humour,
'filming style and puppets to the great Rod Hull.'
'That's because Grotbags first appeared
'as a character on Emu's World.'
Shut up, furry ears.
'Well, I think, if my son was watching this,'
-he would've been scared of this.
-He would? Why?
He's scared of everything on TV, my little boy.
He's a bit of a wimp when it comes to TV,
and I think this would have sent him over the edge, the green lady.
So, were you scared watching this as a young child?
I think I might have been slightly scared.
-And I had a thing for witches as a kid.
Not that I liked them, but I always thought that witches were around.
Do you know what I mean?
So, I'd walk past my bathroom door at my mum's house,
but every time I'd walk past the door and the lights were off,
I'd have to do that cos I'd think
that there would be a witch in there or under my bed.
So, yeah, this was a little bit like sadomasochistic.
-And this all stemmed from Grotbags.
-From Grotbags, yeah.
And then Roald Dahl, he did The Witches, the film, remember?
-That done me in for a couple of years.
-Witches played a big part in my life.
LAUGHTER Talking of my mum...
-They've guided you?
-You'll take that bit out, won't you?
-Yeah. She'll kill me.
Brats! We're knee deep in brats at the moment.
'So, she used to refer to children as brats.'
-Were you ever a brat?
-Yeah, I think people would have called me...
-But not a brat. I mean, a likeable brat, I think.
You know, I wasn't malicious or rude.
-I just was, like, a real hyperactive...
-Yeah. ..boy. Hyperactive boy.
Did you get into any scrapes? Were you accident-prone?
Yeah, I've broken my legs, I've broken my arm,
I've broken my fingers, my toes.
So, bringing it back to Grotbags,
what did you think of her costume, you know?
I wouldn't say it was a great costume.
Look, I think the wig's quite a teller.
-I think you can tell it's a wig, can't you?
-I can tell that's a wig.
-I don't think that mole's real.
-No, I don't think it...
And I don't think she's green.
-But she's got crazy-looking eyes, doesn't she?
I'm surprised that she didn't go on to do other stuff.
What, Shakespeare or...?
Yeah, a little bit of stage work. LAUGHTER
-She's a good character actress, isn't she?
I could see her on Baywatch. They could call it Baywitch.
Children's TV has had its fair share of witches
and ghouls over the years.
In the '70s and '80s,
you could find most of them
hiring themselves out on Rentaghost,
and characters like
Molly Weir's Hazel McWitch
were more likely to give you a hug
than turn you into a frog.
But in recent times, there has been an explosion
of properly scary monsters.
After making Doctor Who
a worldwide hit,
writing genius Russell T Davies
launched Wizards Vs Aliens
on unsuspecting children in 2012.
Reflecting the wide popularity of vampire movies for teens,
Young Dracula featured
horror star Keith-Lee Castle,
fresh from the set
of the diabolical Seed Of Chucky.
And the Twilight effect is still hitting kids TV.
Children are currently watching
werewolf drama Wolfblood,
probably from behind the sofa.
-So, you worry about witches.
-Worried about witches.
Is there anything else that spook you?
Um, yeah, I didn't like...
-I don't like clowns.
-Don't like clans?
Yeah, from an early age, clowns were a massive no-no for me.
-Do you mean clowns?
You went, "Claaans."
Just look behind you. Look, there's one.
Yeah, see, look at that. Look.
Why have you pulled that in here? That geezer does not look like...
He looks like he's had half a bottle of whisky
and is about go out and do something he's going to regret in the morning.
This is very interesting.
You think on a totally different level, don't you?
-What was your living room like, Joe?
-What was, you know, growing up....?
-So, my house...
Yeah, the house that I grew up in, it was...
My mum still lives in that house.
My sisters still live there and stuff,
so it's nice to go back. It was a nice house.
The front room wasn't massive. Similar sort of size to this.
Maybe smaller than this.
So, we'd all have...like, my mum and dad used to have the sofa.
-We used to have beanbags.
So, you used to sit on a beanbag to watch the telly?
Me and my sister used to have a beanbag until I broke the beanbag
and the beans went everywhere.
-You know when the beans get, like, static electricity?
They were stuck on the walls, on the ceilings.
LAUGHTER My mum had the Hoover out.
HE IMITATES HOOVER Yeah. So, the beanbags had to go,
so we just had to sit on a cushion in the end, yeah.
But, no, it was lovely because, as a family,
we'd all sit around together.
My dad was a London taxi driver, so...
-My dad was a taxi driver.
-Oh, was he?
-See, there you go.
-There you go.
-He used to come back on Fridays -
that was his day - and he wouldn't work the weekends,
so we'd get, like, a takeaway and all sit and watch TV.
It's lovely. Really lovely memories of being in the front room.
-Really close family. Still really, really close.
Unfortunately, my dad passed away when we were younger,
but as a family, we're really close, and we still watch TV together.
Your next choice is Family Favourite,
a show you all used to watch together.
-Let's take a little look.
Here, lads, look what I've found.
No way this is on the inventory.
'Soldier Soldier applied the storytelling style of a soap
'to the sometimes hard-hitting
'and always adult military subject matter.'
We're supposed to chuck out all the old stuff.
-There's a young Robson Green there, isn't it?
-Robson Green, yeah.
Did you watch this, Bri? Cos this was your sort of era, wasn't it?
Yeah, no, I used to enjoy this.
And, of course, wasn't it weird that they had a singing career?
Yeah. Well, I think only one of them could sing, couldn't they?
Right, you lot! Come on. Hurry up.
Nice and relaxed, are we?
'With a peak of over 16 million viewers,
'Soldier Soldier became a huge hit,
'making stars of the dynamic duo Robson and Jerome.'
-I'd done an episode of Soldier Soldier.
When my grandad was chaperoning me, when we were filming this,
we gave Jerome a lift home to Islington
cos he was playing football, so he was in my grandad's car.
It was brilliant.
Do you think this was true to life of what life was like in the army?
-I've never been in the army.
-No, so you couldn't comment.
I couldn't comment on that, but I could imagine it being like this.
-Have you ever been in the army?
-You look like a soldier.
Oh, I look like a soldier, don't I? Yeah, I'm trained to kill(!)
Even though it was about the army,
they were never at war in this programme, were they?
No, you're right.
So, it must have been at a peaceful time in the world
-where there was no war.
-That made it cheaper to make, didn't it?
It's how your mind works, Joe.
-I love it. I love it, yeah.
"There's no war, so it'd be cheaper to make."
You know, it all makes sense, mate.
-It almost sounds boring, doesn't it?
An army programme with no war. LAUGHTER
-Well, you loved it. You chose it.
It's like watching The Bill, but with no criminals.
TV has examined war from every conceivable angle
and in every possible genre.
Sir Michael Caine made one of his first TV appearances
in the early war drama Escape in 1957.
And in 1964, Sir Michael Redgrave
narrated one of television's greatest war documentaries,
The Great War.
In the late '60s, the powers that be in the BBC
almost didn't green light a new comedy
called The Fighting Tigers,
worrying that it was too soon to laugh at the war.
But the show was eventually commissioned with a new name -
Dad's Army -
and the rest is history.
On a much grander scale,
the '70s brought us War And Peace.
Sir Anthony Hopkins braved freezing winter conditions
and put in a brilliant performance
as Pierre Bezukhov
in Tolstoy's epic.
Running at 14 hours and 40 minutes,
the series outran
the latest star-studded BBC version
by over eight hours,
which just goes to show that actors these days can't stand the cold.
-So, Joe, we're moving on to your Must See TV now.
An absolute classic from down under. Let's have a little look at this.
-Oh! Do you remember this?
-Go on. Tell me about it.
-I know the theme tune.
# ..when strange things happening Are you going round the twist? #
Yeah. See, that little kid looked like me when I was a kid,
my mum used to say.
-This was a great programme.
-So, what was it about?
Well, what I can remember is,
is that just magical,
weird things would happen to them.
-And they'd have to explain why they happened.
It was like a family of young kids and the mum and dad,
and just how they kind of coped with them and stuff like that.
None of it really made sense.
The TV, when I was a kid, didn't make sense...
HE LAUGHS ..as it does today.
I'm hoping they'll be faster than this in the frog race.
Come on, Libby. Show them what you're made of. Go!
'Actually, this comedy drama was about a widowed dad
'and his three kids
'who lived in a mysterious and ghostly lighthouse in Australia.'
Got all these little hairs on them.
-This must have been the dad. Look. See, it was a lighthouse.
-Come on, let's have it.
-I used it to brush my mouse.
-Use your own toothbrush, Bronson.
-Not my mouth. My mouse.
'It was sold all over the world,
'winning awards in Canada, America and in Australia.
'And 15 years after the last series was broadcast,
'it's still watched down under.'
I used to fancy that girl as well a little bit.
-She might have been my first sort of crush.
-Oh, first crush.
Mice are disgusting creatures.
-I could get some terrible disease.
It's in his pants. That'd have had me in stitches.
LAUGHTER He's got a frog in his pants.
I'd have been rolling around on the floor. It's amazing.
Did it inspire you to be an actor?
-I mean, cos you started at a really young age, didn't you?
Yeah, well, I started off doing, like, baby modelling
-when I was about eight to six, six to seven or something.
Cos I had curly, long hair and it was bright red,
and, like, at parties, my mum and dad used to say,
"Joe, Joe, who's your dad?"
And they trained me to say Mick Hucknall.
Which I think's a bit cruel, you know what I mean?
But, yeah, I'd done a little bit of modelling,
and then my mum is good friends with Linda Robson and Pauline Quirke,
who my mum's known for years. They're like family.
And they went to a place called Anna Scher's.
And cos I had a lot of energy, they was like...
-"We know where to stick him."
-.."We'll stick him in there."
And it was nice then because my energy was kind of
-aimed towards something.
-Yeah, you had something to focus on.
And it kept me out of a lot of trouble as well
because I really fell in love with being on TV and working.
-So, I knew then...
My mum and dad, they used to blackmail me, basically,
say, "If you're naughty, you can't go to work."
So it kind of kept me out of trouble.
-Kept me out of trouble for a long time.
-Kept you focused.
Kept me focused as a young kid. To have a passion as a young kid,
I think is really important
cos it does keep you on the straight and narrow
and it kind of keeps you kind of focused on something.
-Did you do any adverts or anything like that?
-Yeah, I did an advert.
I'm sure you know about it. I'm sure you've got it.
-You've got it, haven't you?
-I might have.
-Shall we have a look at Joe Swash?
-Let's have a look.
-Let's see Mick Hucknall live.
'Andrex's toilet tissue ads have always been, well, comforting.'
There's a new kind of tissue...
'Joe's ad appeared in 1989,
'and features all the Andrex hallmarks.'
-Is that you?
-Aw, weren't you sweet?
'The soft lighting, the domestic setting,
'and all importantly, the cute puppy and even cuter kid.'
That was, um... HE LAUGHS
You've got to kiss me first.
-No, I ain't going to kiss you.
-You've got to kiss me, Bri.
-Come on. If we're going to do it, do it properly.
Mwah! Hold on.
You know I love you. I wouldn't do that.
-I'll have your kisses all day long.
-Do you remember that day?
I remember this day really, really clearly as well.
There was an advert on TV at the time for...
-Do you remember Breakaway biscuits?
And they had the Breakaway kid who used to sit on top of a wall
and eat the Breakaway biscuit.
And then, at the same time, they used to have the Milky Way kid.
-The Milkybar Kid.
-The Milkybar Kid. That's it.
-So, there was always, like, a kid that was kind of...
-And you were the Andrex kid.
But in the same studios, they had the Breakaway kid's set,
and I remember thinking, "Oh, this is amazing.
"This is incredible."
And while we were filming, like, we sat on the sofa
and they'd just bring in a big bucket of dogs.
-Literally a bucket of dogs.
And they'd just chuck loads of puppies on you,
these little Andrex puppies,
and whichever puppy stayed on you was the puppy that got to work.
-Yeah, it was brilliant. It was really good.
What did they do with those puppies afterwards?
-I'm going to need the tissues now.
Yeah, what did they do with them puppies afterwards?
-Yeah, I know. Poor puppies.
-Do you reckon they put them down?
-Yeah, probably. Who knows?
-The ones you didn't like.
-No, that was...
-Did you do any other adverts?
I think that was my first advert, and then, from that,
I kind of stopped and did more acting.
I started doing things like The Bill and some plays and stuff.
But, yeah, that was my first sort of experience of filming,
so that was what gave me the bug -
after doing that day on the Andrex advert.
Joe Swash comes from a long line of actors
who tried to sell us something long before we knew them
as celebrities or even superstars.
Olivia Colman was selling
car loans as Bev,
wife of Kev, in the AA ads.
Now he's Hollywood's Ant-Man,
but Paul Rudd once appeared
And Paul Rudd's pal from Friends
Matt LeBlanc once sold
Heinz Ketchup and Cherry 7 Up.
He might have battled evil as Neo in The Matrix,
but Keanu Reeves has also sold Corn Flakes.
Even the titanic Leonardo DiCaprio used to flog Kraft cheese.
Joe, we're going to move on now to Parents' Choice.
So, this is what my mum and dad would have chosen, yeah?
Yeah. Let's see what it was.
MUSIC: 999 Theme Tune
HE SINGS 999 THEME TUNE
You know it's a serious programme with...
HE SINGS 999 THEME TUNE
-It's either 999 or the news, isn't it?
'The life-savers in leather on the streets of Bristol...'
Yes, it's 999, created
after the runaway success of Crimewatch UK.
It was a reconstruction show featuring every emergency service
from firefighters to coastguards.
It proved that dramatising reality was hugely popular.
It was an instant hit,
with over 12 million of us watching every week.
But watching it now, none of it looks particularly scary,
-but at the time...
-..I loved this programme.
It was like watching a real episode of Casualty or something.
-You know what I mean?
-Do you remember this?
I loved it. I watched it religiously.
Your own house should feel the safest place in the world,
but more accidents...
-Oh, Buerky. Look at Buerky!
-Yeah, he's changed.
-Look at those chinos, mate.
Ooh, and he ain't got any socks on. Very cutting edge.
That'd have taken ages to iron that crease in them trousers.
That's not his kitchen, is it?
Now, if a freshly made cup of tea hits you,
then the heat burns deeper and deeper.
Didn't think skin reacted in the same way
as tissue when it got burned.
Look, you know that kid's in trouble. Look. Straight away.
Oh, no. Don't. Oh, no.
You know when you watch Casualty and you see the actor in the beginning?
You're like, "They're going to die in a minute."
LAUGHTER I hope that baby doesn't.
-Oh, look. Don't do it.
-No, he'll be all right. Don't.
'I turned to get the milk...'
HE SCREAMS Is he going to do it?
Chucked him in the sink. LAUGHTER
Um, but, no, I like this programme. This was really, really good.
-And there's all different sorts of 999 emergencies.
You had, like, a plane crash in one of them,
then you would have, like, a snow one.
What we're going to do now is to push your acting skills, Joe.
-Oh, stop it.
-Yeah. I'm going to give you various scenarios,
and we want to see how well
and what a great actor you are at those 999 scenarios.
I ain't done acting in ages. HE LAUGHS
I ain't done it in ages.
You should just be able to turn it on. It's like a light switch.
I'm not like you, am I? We're not all born to do it, Bri.
This is me. You read out Me.
"Brian making a cuppa, scolded by the kettle."
OK, I'm making a cuppa.
-Wait, wait, wait. What are you doing? You've got a kettle here.
-Oh, yeah. All right. All right.
Just making that...
He's burnt himself right in the crotch.
-All right, then.
-I'll read out your one.
"Joe, a boy who got stuck down a well, and he is from Halifax."
All right. LAUGHTER
-So, you've got to do the accent.
-So, this is the well, right?
What's a Halifax accent? LAUGHTER
-How do they talk in Halifax?
-Yorkshire. Yorkshire, Joe.
Yorkshire. Give me... I need a little...
-'Ey up, me duck. Help! Help!'
YORKSHIRE ACCENT: 'Help me! Ey up!
'Hey up, duck. Help me.' LAUGHTER
'Give me your hand, love. Give me your hand. I've got you.
'I've got you. Pull yourself up now.
-Come on. Come on. I've got you. I've got you.'
-APPLAUSE It was all right.
I'm knackered, mate.
Ladies and gentlemen, by applause, um, Joe Swash.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Oh. You're going to struggle there, Bri.
RIPPLE OF APPLAUSE
LAUGHTER I'd say, Bri, that was a draw.
All right. Thanks, love. Thanks.
Tell you what, mate, for that,
-you can have your tenner back.
-So, Joe, your next choice is Comfort Viewing.
And considering people watched this show in bed,
it couldn't get any comfier.
Oh, Big Breakfast!
Set in a house in East London
with the cameras flying all over the place,
Channel 4's alternative breakfast show
was truly revolutionary.
-What a legendary show this was.
-Really? Did you ever appear on it?
No, I didn't really do any TV work at the time,
but I do remember thinking it's the only programme in the mornings
that didn't bore the life out of me.
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-It's Gordon the Gopher.
-Gordon the Gopher's in the bathroom.
-You wouldn't believe the stories.
Zig and Zag are interviewing Gordon the Gopher.
This is brilliant. It's what you need in the morning.
-That's a young Chris Evans there.
-That is, isn't it?
He's brilliant as well, isn't he, Chris Evans?
So, what set this show apart from GMTV?
Well, I mean, you had Paula Yates in the bed with people...
-That's right, yeah.
-..doing her interviewing.
-Um, you had Denise van Outen first thing in the morning.
As a young boy, that was definitely going to get you up in the mornings.
-You've got Zig and Zag, you know.
-Zig and Zag.
It's almost like it's kids' TV
that your parents are watching as well.
So, is it the type of show that would make you want to skip school?
-You know, would you sort of...?
-I couldn't skip school as a kid.
You couldn't get a day off school out of my mum for love nor money.
-I tried every trick. LAUGHTER
I've stuck my head on a radiator to try and warm it up.
LAUGHTER I remember chopping up...
I chopped up little carrots and made, like, a weird soup,
put that down the toilet, made out like I'd been sick.
I did everything. You couldn't get a day off school off my mum
unless your finger was hanging off. LAUGHTER
-Honestly. "Have an aspirin, go to school."
But on the odd occasion that I'd have, like, a sick day
and you could just lay in bed and you could watch that,
you know, brilliant morning TV.
Did you think it was very anarchic? You know, really...?
It was very of its time, and I don't think...
There's nothing like that at the moment.
I don't think anything replaced Big Breakfast
-as that sort of like high...
-..energy sort of morning show.
Do you remember, at the end of the series,
when they stopped the whole thing,
they did a competition where you could win the house?
-That's right, yeah.
-You could win the house.
I thought, "What an amazing present."
-It's house, Joe.
-That sounds disgusting.
"You could win the haarse."
-You could win that lovely home.
It was good, though, wasn't it? It was a good programme.
-It was brilliant, yeah.
-Joe, we're moving on to Comedy Heroes now.
Your next choice is... Well, it's a classic, really.
-It would have been you...
..but they told me I couldn't pick you.
-Oh, well, that's very kind of you.
-Two people in our next clip.
Did you...did you love them?
-Oh, see these two...
-There they are.
I mean, I love Harry Enfield,
but I love Kathy Burke more.
-I am turning the television off.
Because every night since we've got married,
all we've done is watch television.
Yeah. So what?
So, tonight, for a change, I thought we'd have it off.
I don't want to have it off with you, Waynetta. You stink.
-Kathy Burke went to my drama school.
She went to Anna Scher. So, she wasn't a comedian.
She's really an actress that's just so good at what she does,
she can be funny.
-Cos I thought, for a change,
-we might have a cond-versation.
-All right, then. You start.
-IN POSH VOICE:
-I wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow.
So do I. Let's turn the telly on and find out.
And, again, this was of its time.
This was, like, so unique,
the Harry Enfield show, the sketch show.
Harry was doing it.
His characters were all so strong as well.
-They were all standout characters.
-And very real.
I mean, they were all real people.
-And you'd always relate to someone, you know.
-Tim Nice But Dim.
-Know what I'm saying? HE LAUGHS
Thought, seeing as it was a school reunion,
I ought to wear the old school tie.
Perhaps I should have left it at that.
Would you like a glass of sherry?
Oh, what the hell. Why not? Cheers.
Oh, here comes the headmaster.
-Oh, now I'm going to get busted.
We've got a little game for you to see if you can,
-well, tell us their catchphrases...
-..from the Harry Enfield show.
So, these are obviously characters Harry Enfield used to do.
Name the catchphrase. Here's the first.
LIVERPOOL ACCENT: 'Calm down. Calm down.'
-Is that that one?
-Absolutely correct. Spot-on.
-You're on a roll. Here's the next one.
-Oh, he's the know-it-all geezer, isn't he?
-I don't know it.
"You don't want to do it like that."
-"You want to do it like that."
We won't give you that one. I'll have that one.
-These are the Brummies.
-Yeah, I didn't know these ones.
I don't even remember these two.
"I am considerably richer than you."
-No, I don't remember that.
-That was a waste of time, then, wasn't it?
"Oi! Shut it!
"Got loads of money!"
No, but if I hear Joe Swash
-in my bathroom washing himself down, using my soap...
-..I would say, "No!"
"No, Joe Swash, international superstar babe magnet,
"you are not allowed to wash yourself in my bathroom."
HE LAUGHS Nice one. Yes!
Do you think it's a good idea,
if kids want to be an actor or an actress,
to go to a stage school? I mean, I went to stage school.
Yeah, I never went to a stage school as such.
I'd go on a Friday and a Saturday.
-So, I went to normal school.
-I think it...
With the kids, you have to keep reminding them
and make sure they know that it's quite a precarious game.
-Go to school, get your education, use it as, like, a hobby.
I think kids get so much from it as well.
You know, just communicational skills,
talking to adults, confidence.
-So, Joe, your first day on EastEnders.
-What was that like?
-Yeah, well, I nearly got sacked on my first day.
-Yeah. I mean, I always wanted to be in EastEnders.
I mean, when we were at Anna Scher's, my drama class,
we'd talk about it cos we knew Natalie Cassidy
and James Alexandrou that were in it already.
Everyone wanted to be in films, but I just wanted to be in EastEnders.
It was, like, my passion, EastEnders,
so to get it was amazing.
But then I wanted to share it with my mates cos, like...
So, I invited my mate along.
I sneaked him in the studio for my first day.
And I said to him, "Don't leave the dressing room.
"Stay in the dressing room." And he didn't.
He went wandering around, and we were filming,
and he walked round the back of the camera right through the scene.
They had to stop. They all went mad. "Who's this geezer?"
-"It's my mate Nick the Greek."
-Nick the Greek!
Nick the Greek, yeah, we called him. And, yeah, so, I nearly got sacked.
-They had to escort him out, and I got told off.
But I think I set the tone. They knew what they were handling,
-what they were dealing with.
So nothing else would surprise them.
-You're a great actor. There's no denying it.
-But did you find it hard to get the accent for EastEnders?
LAUGHTER Yeah, I did.
-It was something you had to work on?
-I think that was one of
the good things about EastEnders, and my character Mickey -
he was just like me, so I wasn't even acting.
I was just saying the lines like I'd have said them in real life.
-You know what I mean?
-So, it was a pleasure to play him.
-You played him for six years.
-Played him for six years.
They brought a family in around him, which had my little sister in it,
playing my sister.
And we all still know each other really well from the family.
But it was just an amazing place to grow up in.
And I was 21, so, like, before that, I was just a ginger kid.
And then, I get in EastEnders, I was like...
I was like a big kid in a sweet shop.
I could eat everything, like.
I could get into clubs for nothing. HE LAUGHS
I went to town for about two years. I got in so much trouble.
But thank God I grew out of it and I got it out of my system.
So, here is you, Joe, on EastEnders.
I ain't seen any of this. I never watch my old stuff back.
Once I've done it, I've done it.
-Is Spencer around, please?
-Yeah. Why? Who's asking?
-Oh, it's Mickey.
I'm Spencer's mate.
-'Look at the shirts as well.
-He looks young, doesn't he? Old Richie?
-Yeah, bless him.
Hey! Oh! All right, Spencer. You back there, mate?
-I wasn't gone.
-That's not what Nana just said.
-Nana's not in.
-Come on, mate. We've got work to do.
We ain't got time to chat all day. Come on, pal.
-See, I auditioned for his part, for Spencer...
..and I got down to the last two to play Shane's brother.
-Listen, Spence, you still got that cash?
-It's burning a hole in my pocket.
-Why don't we have a little chat?
-Still got that denim jacket?
-Yeah, still got that.
But it was really weird because when I auditioned for EastEnders,
you know when you audition for a small part,
you don't really want to do it
because there's less chance of you getting a bigger part later on.
-And they kept saying to me, "Do this part."
Cos I went for the audition for Spencer,
and Shane wrote a book about his experience,
and I was in his book cos he said, like,
"Met this boy called Joe Swash who auditioned for Spencer.
"He didn't get the part, but we knew he would get a part eventually."
And I was really reluctant to do it
because it was only for a couple of episodes.
So, I was working at the BBC doing fire protection
-cos I wanted to be a fireman.
-So, I was doing fire protection.
So, I was going into a room and making sure,
if there was a fire in it, it wouldn't spread.
So, I'd be on EastEnders.
I'd go in and do maybe two weeks' work on EastEnders,
and then go back to my normal job.
So, I was on TV while I was doing my normal job,
and everyone was like, "Are you not that dude from EastEnders? Mickey?"
while I was working at the BBC doing a bit of building.
And that went on for about three or four months to maybe a year
of going in and out, in and out.
It took them that long until they offered me my contract.
What was it like when you got that phone call?
It was amazing cos it was all I ever wanted,
was to be in EastEnders.
And I'd already got a taste of it from being Mickey,
so when they said they wanted to keep my character,
it was like winning the lottery. I was so excited.
Um, it's an amazing place. I've got some great memories.
-Would you like to go back?
-I think, you know, the door's always open.
People are always asking me.
So, I think, one day, I would like to go back just because...
Because when I was on EastEnders, I got ill.
I got a thing called viral meningoencephalitis,
so I was off work for about a year, in hospital, then rehab and stuff.
So, I feel like, where my character was just about to go off
and do his own little storylines,
-it sort of got cut short a bit.
So, I'd like to go back and do it properly one day.
We'd like to see you back there.
Oh, thanks. But then I like what I'm doing.
I like doing presenting and I like doing the Jungle
and TV and doing stuff like that,
so, you know, it's a balancing thing, isn't it?
One day. One day. But they might not even want me back.
-I caused them so much trouble when I was on there.
Oh, I was always late, I'd have parties.
My biggest pulling thing at the weekend...
If I wanted to pull someone, like, if I had my eye on someone,
I'd take them to EastEnders on a Sunday
cos I knew the geezer at the gate.
So, I'd take them for a walk around the square, yeah?
I did that for about a year until I got caught.
Because they had a camera that was doing an internet live feed.
-After a while,
it was just every Sunday going round with different people.
HE LAUGHS And then there's other times...
Is that why you're not in a relationship now -
-because you can't go round EastEnders?
I mean, I've got nothing to offer them no more.
With a history spanning over 31 years,
it's no wonder that some of the EastEnders' extras
and bit-part actors came from or have gone on to other things.
First up, it's market regular Winston,
who not only got his own CD stall on the square,
but also some of his own storylines,
like having his head shaved for charity in The Vic.
Oh, look, they've missed a bit.
Next is a member of a real-life showbiz dynasty.
It's Martha Ross, mother of Jonathan and Paul Ross,
and a regular extra on the Square for over 20 years.
The next extra only racked up one appearance as man on phone
at the back of The Vic.
He made a huge impact, though,
as he is none other than Take That's Robbie Williams.
Lastly, it's the late, great Big Ron Tarr,
one of the best-loved background artists in the business,
appearing on the show right up until his death in 1997,
when his character was written out of the show
by having Big Ron win the lottery and move to Spain.
It was what he would have wanted.
Touched on the Jungle. What was that like?
That was good, the Jungle, because I'd just left EastEnders.
-You became King of the Jungle.
It was weird because I'd just left EastEnders,
and it was their decision for me to leave EastEnders,
so I was slightly heartbroken by it.
And I knew I was going to be typecast
and I'd struggle doing other acting work.
And then the Jungle came in, and I was really nervous.
You know, I just didn't know what was going to happen.
But I bit the bullet and did it,
and it was one of the best things I've done. Really enjoyed it.
From that, I've been going back for the last eight years, you know.
So, I've got my money's worth out of it.
Yeah, I've really enjoyed it. It's an amazing place.
Was it nice to be voted King of the Jungle by the public?
Yeah. Yeah, I think that was the best thing
because it's such a...it's such a weird feeling being in there
because you don't know no-one in there.
There's no-one in there to say to you, "You're not being yourself.
"What are you doing? Cheer up."
So, you're constantly kind of questioning yourself.
"Am I being myself? Am I being myself?"
But no, it was just an amazing place.
And again, like, EastEnders and the Jungle,
I just have two of the most amazing, incredible memories of them.
So, yeah, I'd say them two hold big places in my heart.
-Joe, I want to talk about the TV you love watching now.
Bring it full circle. What do you enjoy watching?
-I love documentaries.
-I'm really into documentaries.
I love Louis Theroux and stuff like that.
I like stuff like Big Brother, I'm A Celebrity, Strictly.
I like my reality stuff.
Cos I grew up in a house full of women for most of it,
cos my dad died I was 12,
so that's got a big effect on my taste in TV.
So, I like my soaps, you know, I like my antiques shows,
like Antiques Roadshow and all of that.
Yeah, so, I think my taste in TV probably reflects
my mum and my sisters' taste.
I had no control over the telly dial.
That was up to them. I just had to watch what they watched.
-Match Of The Day, I like. Sport.
-As I'm getting older...
My dad used to do it. As I'm getting older,
I'm watching the most obscure sports.
Like, I'm watching a bit of racing.
I was watching a bit of the dogs the other day. I don't even bet.
-I was just watching dogs running round.
-A bit of golf.
What a boring sport that is to watch.
-You're not into bowls, are you?
-I'm watching indoor bowls at the moment.
-The World Championships, yeah.
And that is my age.
Like, when I was younger, I wouldn't have given that two minutes.
Now I can watch bowls for a good hour and get into it.
They do it at a place called Potters. I was going to go.
Bit of darts. I love darts.
-Yeah, bit of Lakeside. I went to that once.
Yeah, so, as I'm getting older, I'm liking my sports.
Well, I want to thank you for brightening up my sofa today.
-Thank you, mate.
-It's been an absolute joy.
-Is that it?
-Aw! Well, I've enjoyed it.
It really has. The time's gone so quickly.
But we give our guests the opportunity
to pick a theme tune for us to play out on.
-So, what's it going to be, Joe?
-Do you want me to sing it?
No, we play it.
-It's the actual theme tune.
But you can sing it as well. You can sing along to it.
-Shall we see if they get it, yeah?
-Well, all right. Go on, then.
# Dah-dah-dah! #
# Dah-dah-dah! #
-We Will Rock You?
-We watched it. It was on there. AUDIENCE MEMBER:
# Dah-dah-dah! #
That's my theme song. HE HUMS 999 THEME SONG
-It's either the news or 999 coming up, yeah.
-All right, then.
So, we play out with 999. Have you enjoyed it?
-I've loved it, yeah.
-And we've loved you.
Let me come back because I've got all these other programmes.
All right, I know you're struggling. You're out of work at the moment.
-We'll let you back.
-Get me back.
-We'll let him back, won't we?
-My thanks to Joe.
-Aw. Cheers, mate.
-Mate, thank you.
And my thanks to you for watching The TV That Made Me.
We'll see you next time. Bye-bye!
MUSIC: 999 Theme Tune
TV presenter Joe Swash joins Brian on the sofa to take a look back at the classic television that made him the person he is today.
Brian kicks off proceedings by showing Joe a clip that brings back vivid memories of his childhood, from wacky favourite Grotbags. We then find out what army drama was watched religiously in the Swash household, before touching on a docu-drama series that had us all on the edge of our seats.
Breakfast telly is also on the agenda as we revisit a show that dragged us out of bed for 10 years, and we discover that one of Joe's first big breaks came in a vintage TV advert.
Joe talks openly about his time on EastEnders and his first day on set as lovable rogue Mickey Miller. We bring it all back to the present day as we find out what he loves now.