© Auf Wiedersehen, Pet is copyright of ITV Studios, BBC & Franc Roddam.
‘Forgive me Sir Bobby, for I have sinned....’ Auf Wiedersehen, Pet - Behind The Scenes Series 4. These short interviews with the cast was done for the BBC Series 4 of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Kevin Whately talks about Series 4 and a short bit about how Pet changed his life. The following is copyright of the BBC. © The images and text are copyright of the BBC and are not to be used or copied without permission.
The name's Hope. Neville Hope. Or maybe not. A slightly bemused Neville finds himself 'recruited' to MI6 to act undercover on low level intelligence missions in the Cuban capital. And he's about as far from James Bond as it's possible to be. "He's more on the Alec Guinness end of the spying scale rather than the Pierce Brosnan end," Kevin smiles, referring to the 1959 film of Graham Greene's novel. The burden of his espionage responsibilities gives Neville a distinct air of desperation. Kevin agrees: "Of all of them, Nev's not a liar. He, and maybe Dennis, are the most honest people in the gang. Neville's always said exactly what he thought even when it's got him in trouble! So it really gets him down because he's not used to lying to his worst enemy let alone his best friends. "Eventually they suspect that he's having an affair. "It's not the first time that they've thought he's having an affair when he's not! But that's the least of his worries. He's so far into his lies that it's almost a relief to him that they haven't cottoned on. He'd rather they think he's off shagging!" And Neville really didn't want to go to Cuba in the first place. "He's the only one with a 'pet' left, he's got his family and a life that he likes. I think sharing these awful digs with a load of sweaty, stinky fellas is, at his age, almost too much for him. "He's really had enough but it's a tribal loyalty that keeps him working with them. He's committed to them and they've been together so long that really he's emotionally blackmailed into going. "Unlike his alter-ego, Kevin was very keen to head out to Cuba. "I've started claiming that it was my idea to go to Cuba. I'm sure that it's not entirely true but at one point they were talking about going to South America and I'd been to Cuba the year before so I suggested it. I went a few years ago with my family. There is an amazing music scene, the people and the place were beautiful and it's totally unspoilt. "Also, with the Cuban revolution, it's got a working class affinity and, without being anti-American, I think the world does have a respect for the way that Castro stands up to the American sanctions. "So when we were talking about series four, I suggested that Cuba might have had a hurricane and that we could be repairing the damage. But the team came up with this wonderful O.E.D. when they were in Cuba recce-ing. None of us had known that the O.E.D. existed but we knew it would work! "Having a fondness for the island, Kevin admits that the news that they couldn't film in Cuba was a let-down. "I went to the Dominican Republic predisposed to be disappointed because it wasn't Cuba, but it worked out brilliantly. "The design team did an amazing job making it look like Cuba, and the locals that worked as crew were just fantastic. In particular, there's one big scene set in the main square at a fiesta when Neville gets himself into trouble."We had two or three hundred local extras there and the sun belted down on us. There was no wind passing through and it was just hot and still like an oven. "But those kids were there for about eight hours dancing and singing and jumping around. It was like hell's kitchen but they loved every minute!" And working in the jungle had its moments! We saw tarantulas and spiders and bugs crawling all over the place! But they were only small," he admits holding his finger and thumb about two inches apart. "That's what makes screen acting more exciting than theatre acting! "It was this desire for excitement that spurred Kevin to leave his job as an accountant after three years to become a professional actor. He got a place at Central and hasn't looked back since. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet put him on the map, and he subsequently starred in Inspector Morse, Peak Practice and Trip Trap to name but a few. While he's not working, Kevin spends his free time taking the family dog for a walk around their local village where he lives with his wife and two children. "We go to the woods near our home. It clears my head and is great exercise. "Since finishing the show, Kevin has taken on the new challenge of playing Wolf – a hunter who tracks down two daring pigs who became national heroes by escaping slaughter in BBC ONE's The Legend of the Tamworth Two.