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TV Quickfire: Tim Minchin on second series of comedy drama Upright

As Upright returns to our screens, we find out more from star Tim Minchin about what we can expect from the new series of the comedy drama...

Upright: Tim Minchin as Lucky Flynn
Gemma Dunn

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO A SECOND SERIES?

IT WASN'T my intention to do a second season; season one sets itself up and resolves itself, but as soon as we came up with the idea (of looking for Meg's mum) it was incredibly obvious. We realised that not only was there enough of an emotional story left to tell, but there was also plenty of impetus for another physical journey. It made absolute sense once I got my head around it, including that Meg would turn to Lucky for help. She needs someone to go on a grand adventure to find her mum, and there's probably only one dude in her recent past who she could turn to.

MILLY HAS GONE ON TO GREAT THINGS SINCE SERIES ONE. HOW HAVE YOU ENJOYED REUNITING?

Milly is suddenly queen of the dragons, but I really wrote the second season for her – even before she got House of The Dragon – as I was intent on seeing how far that kid can go. She's so good.

AND WHERE DO WE FIND LUCKY THIS SEASON?

We quickly learn that, despite his success, Lucky is still Lucky. He's still freaking hopeless and he's not really coping with these new pressures in life. In writing the show, we decided we needed to get Lucky to a point of utter breakdown for him to have to deal with the s*** that he's not been dealing with. It's a journey out of urban centres, out into the rain forest, up a river, into the heart of darkness and s*** goes really, really bonkers – worse than season one.

DO YOU SEE ANY OF YOURSELF IN LUCKY?

I've always thought Lucky is like me, if I hadn't got so lucky. Lucky had my life as in Perth, middle class, hockey player, except we killed his dad. But Lucky was built on me. But he's not like me, because whereas I got lucky with a cabaret show and wrote a children's musical, he f***** his brother's wife and got her pregnant. So I mean, he's not like me. He's a grump. And he's quite damaged.

ARE YOU INVOLVED IN MORE ACTION SEQUENCES THIS TIME AROUND?

There's some pretty fun stuff. We blow something up, we steal another car, but I spent two whole episodes in a small pair of pink pyjamas. I just can't believe I let that happen. It's ridiculous. That's the cult uniform. I get very naked again. I think it might be my last proper nude shot; I had to work very hard to get back into shape, but I don't think I'll do that again. But, you know, you've got to give the audience what it wants – and a reasonably fit, middle-aged ginger guy is all audiences want. It's perfect.

WHY DO YOU THINK UPRIGHT HAS BEEN A HIT?

I think Upright had an impact because it's a little bit different. It still had a real sense of Australian-ness and an Australian sense of humour and some of the well-established traditions of a road movie, but it was also unique in its tone. It's very much a comedy and a drama. It was that knife edge we wanted to retain in season two.

It is a very bombastic show and it's very entertaining, but very heartfelt. It also has big Australian grandeur and rollicking adventure. But in the end, the story is about tiny things. It's stuff that we all go through – the normal everyday traumas of everyday people.

:: Upright Series 2 is available via Sky Comedy streaming service NOW on Tuesday November 22.

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