How do you avoid the lure of the service station pasty?
Oh man, it is hard. The main thing is to look out for the M&S stores, because they have real good salads – the calories are quite low but they still fill you up. If I see that first, it’s all good, but if I see McDonald’s first, there’s an inner struggle that can go on for miles on the motorway…
What’s your most impressive personal best?
Recently I was shooting a TV show and I saw in the script that my character got his shirt off quite a lot, so I was immediately thrown into a panic because I don’t gym. My brother is a personal trainer, so I’m always thinking, “Maybe I’ll just get him in as a body double and then stick my head on top.” But this time I was like, “OK, I’m going to have to do it,” so I basically ate sensibly for six weeks, I cycled everywhere, played football twice a week and every time I watched TV I would exercise. It actually worked, and suddenly I had a washboard. However, as we speak, I do not have that any more…
If you could look like Arnie in his prime tomorrow, would you?
No. My brother looks amazing and occasionally he really goes for it and gets himself ripped for his personal trainer adverts, but I find it a little bit disturbing when there’s muscles on a man and I don’t know what they are. I just think looking healthy is the more attractive thing – having muscles popping out of your neck? It’s not my thing.
Have you ever pulled a muscle in less-than-heroic circumstances?
I damaged the cruciate ligament in my knee in very unheroic circumstances. I play Sunday league and I had my last game. I thought, “I’m going to hit this on the volley so sweetly, and it’ll fly into the top corner.” I swung with everything I had, completely missed the ball – total air-shot – my legs flew up in the air, and when I came back down, my knees just went. I couldn’t get back up and had to scooch off the pitch on my bum like a dog with worms.
Which excuse for not going to the gym or working out are you most ashamed of?
It’s always time. But then you realise that you only really need 20 minutes to make a difference. That I’m ashamed of, because there’ll always be 20 minutes in a day where I’m just reading football gossip, scrolling through Instagram or doing something else pointless.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t think there’s any question, it’s got to be cheese. There’s no amount of money in the world, there’s no threat, there’s no doctor who could tell me not to eat cheese. There’s so many different kinds all around the world – oh God, I can’t leave it alone. Then you stop and think about what cheese is, it’s like, “Dude, you can’t keep eating this stuff,” but I can’t stop.
If you could be a professional at any sport, what would it be?
I still feel like if I can get myself in shape, the next England manager might have a look. If you grew up obsessed with football, there’s still a part of you that thinks, “You know, Ian Wright had a late start, I can work my way up.” Either way, I don’t think I’ll ever retire from amateur football.
Have you ever let yourself go at any point in your life?
I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to computer technology, and I have no idea how to change my Wikipedia photo. It’s of me from Edinburgh in 2011, where you’re performing every night and eating outrageous amounts, unless you’re a more sensible man than me. I definitely let myself go that year, I was disgusting. 2011 was the fatty nadir.
What’s the longest you have gone without alcohol in the name of good health?
It’s normally when I’m ill. It’s never long, but there was a period at the end of last year where I only drank on the weekends, and just that makes a huge change. If you stop for a bit, your tolerance level drops and you become a cheap date. That was a great period, but I’ve not gone completely sober since I was 16; since the days of drinking cider until you puke…
Doc Brown will be appearing on December 3 at Live At Zédel, the brand new entertainment concept launching at the Zédel building in Soho this September. He also stars in David Brent: Life On The Road, in cinemas August 19