I have to be careful, as I don't want to offend Midlanders, but growing up, it wasn't like growing up in London. Anything you were interested in, you'd be able to find someone also interested in it. In the Midlands, nobody came out as gay at my school at all.
The characters are not allowed to change if you write a sitcom; they're not allowed to learn anything. There's all these sorts of rules, and you go, 'I just want to be able to write one character and then leave that behind.' Also, as a performer, and I may regret saying this, but it would be my own personal hell to be trapped in the sitcom.
The first time you go on holiday is the test of a relationship, when you really find out if you're compatible or not. You find out what's annoying about that person, and whether or not you're willing to put up with that because you love them and you don't want to be alone.
We pitched 'Sightseers' as a TV idea originally, and it was rejected because it was too dark. But then things like 'Dexter' came out, 'Breaking Bad'... There are so many sophisticated dramas now with comic elements to them.
I studied classics, and I find it mystifying that we had Medea and Electra and Antigone and all these amazing characters, and they don't really exist in cinema now. The only person who's really doing it, and he gets loads of criticism for it, is Lars Von Trier.
I always think it's just best to just make stuff and to carry on making stuff, even if it's not off your own back, because that's the only way... especially as a comedy writer, I make short films and then show them to live audience, so if they're laughing you know you're doing something right.
I think 'Sightseers' was a bit of an epiphany, a massive learning curve, and it gave me loads of confidence to go out there, and also to create a female character which is completely unexpected and defies convention.
I don't understand why people don't use improvisation, especially in comedy films, but also, for me, you get more naturalism, and that's why I like the naturalistic performances and strange rhythms and the way that people genuinely interact captured rather than sort of very mannered performances.
I was in something called 'Garth Marenghi's Darkplace' which was a real cult comedy; it's sort of a spoof horror sort of thing, and it only ever had one series, but I liked the fact that it only had one series because it's kind of got this little gemlike quality to it that there were only ever six episodes.
The film [Sightseers] is really the story of the journey of a relationship, so the killings are almost a metaphor for the trials they go through. We wanted people to identify with the experience of going on holiday and having a quarrel with your wife, boyfriend, whatever. We knew if we didn't crack that it would not be watchable as a film.
We actually did go on a camping trip together as part of the research, in a caravan, for a week. I guess we picked who annoyed us most from genuine experience. We did a lot of research on camping and what annoys people. It's quite often children playing ball games. It's a huge debate in the caravan world whether children should be allowed to play ball games or not.
I think 99% of the whole thing is to have passion about the idea yourself. I think part of your job as a filmmaker is to tell someone that might not think it's going to work that, actually, it will work.