1. How did you become involved
with Thomas and Friends?
Along with many other actors I auditioned for the part and was lucky enough
to be offered the role. I was delighted because the character of Mr Perkins is very similar to my own and so I feel comfortable
2. What other TV/Film roles
have you starred in?
I've been an actor for over 30 years and so have been in many productions. You
may have seen me in "My Parents are Aliens" or "Casualty" or "The Bill". More recently I have been
in "Miranda" for the BBC and have completed a film called "The Great Ghost Rescue".
|Mr. Perkins relaxes in the Staff Common Room
3. Were you familiar with
Thomas from the Rev. W. Awdry's books and Ringo Starr/Michael Angelis narrating the early series?
course! I remember the books very well. Although when reading them, I never imagined that one day I would be playing one of
the engine drivers!
4. If you had a favourite
character, who would it be?
Thomas of course, but I also have a soft spot for Percy.
5. You mention Driver "Mr.
Arkwright" in a few of your skits, will we ever see yourself Robert Slade together in a skit? What do you think of the
I think it would be a great idea! it does get a bit lonely in the engine drivers common room
so it would be nice to have some company.
|Mr. Perkins' cake ( "Splish, splash Splosh" DVD)
6. Did you have a chance
meeting Robert Slade (Mr Arkwright)?
No, unfortunately I've never met him. But I've heard about him
and he seems like a very nice man.
7. On the "Wobbly Wheels
& Whistles" DVD, you enter the office and throw your hat up on the coat hook where it lands perfectly. Was that done in
Ha! well spotted . I did it first time in rehearsal, which is why the director wanted to
keep it for the real film. But I must admit I struggled to match my first lucky throw and it did take a few takes before I
got it right again. Maybe the pressure of everybody watching put me off!
8. Did you ever have a
chance to examine the set props more closely in between takes? We'd certainly love to know who painted the portrait of Sir
Topham Hatt that hangs on the wall behind you.
Yes I too was fascinated by the amazing detail in the
props. The set and props were built by a very talented team of set designers and they painted Sir Topham Hatt and all the
9.What was your favourite
DVD Segment to work on? (Mine is the Trainset lesson)
Yes that was fun, I think that might have been
my favourite too. I haven't had a train set since I was a little boy, so it brought back many memories. It was also great
fun working with the parrot who behaved impeccably and appeared to have worked on the script before he arrived, because he
always reacted perfectly! It was extraordinary.
|Ben Forster (Mr. Perkins) with fine feathered friend from the "Thomas and the Runaway Kite" DVD
10. Was the Thomas when
finished cake from the DVD "Splish Splash Splosh" all made by you? Or did you have some help?
love to say it was all made by me, but it wasn't. I did make some of it but it looked terrible! So those talented set designers
helped a lot.
|Mr. Perkins as Sir Topham Hatt from "Pop Goes Thomas" DVD
11. In real life, what
would of the Fat Controller have said if you have gone to the fancy dress party impersonating him?
you know I wondered that myself. I almost think that I might have changed my mind half way to the party. He might well have
thought I was being a bit cheeky! But, maybe he would have been surprised at first and then found it funny!
12. What were the extras
like on the "Merry Winter Wish" DVD and "Rescue on the Rails" DVD - Fun to work with?
They were great!
It was so nice to have other people around in the engine drivers common room. The carol singers made it feel like it really
was Christmas and the audience in the magic show made me quite nervous because it felt like a real magic show. Also, they
kept making me laugh!
13. You've played the New
Thomas theme so far on a piano and a one man band… Would you consider playing the old classic series theme tune if you
could for an upcoming segment?
Yes I like it, I actually think it might be easier to play than the
current one. I'll start practising now!
14. We're looking forward
to your upcoming adventures on upcoming Thomas DVDs and wish you luck. In closing, is there anything you'd like to say
for your fans?
Well I must be careful not to give any secrets away. But, we've just been filming some
very interesting sequences where I leave the engine drivers common room and go off to see some Steam Engines. It was great
fun to shoot and i'm sure you're going to love it. Thank you for asking your interesting questions, and thank you all for
watching. See you soon!
|The Magnificent Perkins the Magician from "Pop Goes Thomas" DVD