Want to hear something ironic? When Nick Frost visited fellow British actor, and frequent collaborator, Simon Pegg on the set of the 2008 comedy How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, he actually made a friend in the shape of the movie’s director, Robert B. Weide. “He was just a bloody good egg,” says Frost, whose credits include Shaun of the Dead and playing Santa Claus in last year’s special Christmas episode of Doctor Who. “We had a weird meeting of minds. One day he just phoned me up and left a message saying, ‘I’ve had an idea!'”
That idea was for Mr. Sloane, a sitcom set at the end of the ’60s which stars Frost as a U.K.-dwelling everyman who has recently lost both his job and his wife. In fact, the premiere starts with his depressed titular character putting a noose around his neck—only for Mr. Sloane’s weight to prove too much for the ceiling in his living room. “That partly came from a true story,” says the actor. “I knew someone who hanged themselves and they were so heavy that the rope snapped. The point [of the scene] was: It can only get better. There’s only one place you can go after a sitcom starts off by trying to self-murder its protagonist.”
Frost’s estranged wife on the show is played by Olivia Colman. The actress appeared alongside Frost and Pegg in director Edgar Wright’s 2007 cop comedy Hot Fuzz but has since garnered huge acclaim—and a BAFTA award—for her role in the decidedly more serious TV police drama, Broadchurch. “It was just like hanging out with a mate,” says Frost of reteaming with the actress. “There’s no build-up: She just turns it on, and the scene is done, and we’re back to chatting about horses–t. She can do everything—her comedy is as good as her drama and so on and so on. I want to see her do the Great British Bake-Off next.”
Alas, Colman will not be prevented from appearing on that British cooking show by any future duties on Mr. Sloane, which premiered in the U.K. last spring on Sky Atlantic only to be canceled later in the year. “They had a change of administration,” explains Frost. “[It was] like a male lion stalking a fresh pride, and killing every cub that wasn’t his. So, I think that’s it, sadly.”
Mr. Sloane premieres in Southern California on KCET, Thursday, May 7, at 10 p.m. Link TV will screen a marathon of all seven episodes on Sunday, May 17, starting at 8 p.m. EST and 9 p.m. PST. Watch the trailer for Mr. Sloane below.