Mister Winner S1 is one of those good old-fashioned comedies that’s just about the absurdity of everyday life. Writer Matt Morgan set out to make a show that the whole family can enjoy together, unironically. “Mister Winner is completely non-cynical and non-sneery. There’s no cruelty, there’s no big target to the humour… It’s relatable. It’s a warm show,” says Matt. “We wanted it to be funny for little kids and grandparents equally. This actually makes it harder because you can’t fall back on the normal tricks, you can’t do an awkward sex joke.”
Matt wanted to make a show that would be funny even with the sound turned down. So Mister Winner is a feast of physical comedy. If you grew up loving Mr Bean, you’ll know that the bar on that has been set sky high. But in Spencer Jones, who plays title character Leslie Winner, Matt believes that he’s found a physical comedy genius. “Spencer Jones is so brilliant at physical comedy and prop comedy. I’d seen his show in Edinburgh and when the idea arose, I knew there was no one else for the job. Although he’s quite a naturalistic actor, he’s got Mr Bean and Stan Laurel’s DNA running through him. He really threw himself into the role,” says Matt.
Spencer and Matt worked on the comedy together. “I was involved right from the start. I had long chats with Matt about the content and storylines. Once Matt had then fleshed out his ideas, I added visual gags and thoughts. We also talked about real-life incidents that we’d heard about. Once the scripts were in place, me and the director worked for a couple of weeks together on the visual and physical aspects,” says Spencer. “We discussed where I’d fall, where I’d turn… the visual gags. There were lots of conversations between myself, the producer, the director and the writer.”
Spencer adds, “There’s also heart in the series. It’s genuinely a story about love and trying to make ends meet. Like a lot of people, these two are a bit skint, getting through life and trying their hardest.” And boy, could Spencer relate to that financial struggle. Before Mister Winner aired, Spencer revealed, “Two weeks ago, we were in so much debt that my missus had to hide our car a few streets away from the bailiffs. I really hope people like the show because I can’t find the car and the missus can’t remember where she parked it.”
It’s time to meet 3 of these uncool people who’re just trying to get by…