Gillen's had fill of cooking shows

Your Local Guardian: Aidan Gillen thinks there is too much reality TV these days Aidan Gillen thinks there is too much reality TV these days

Aidan Gillen has hit out at reality shows such as The Only Way Is Essex and The Great British Bake Off for making less room for drama on TV.

The Irish actor - who also stars in hit US drama Game Of Thrones - plays a dysfunctional single father in new BBC murder mystery Mayday, and thinks there should be more new drama on British TV and less "cakes and fake tans".

Aidan said: "There's too much reality TV and cooking programmes and all that over this way now. People washing dishes or delivering milk or sleeping on TV, that sort of thing...

"Look back before Big Brother and Driving School (although I liked that one) and you've got Alan Bleasdale, Jimmy McGovern, Alan Clarke, Dennis Potter, Paul Abbott, Antonia Bird etc, etc. Some of these names are still current of course but you know what I mean.

"There's lots of good British and Irish comedy, and still the occasional knockout drama. I'd say plough more resources into that and less of the cakes and fake tans - that stuff's cheap and people like it, but there's more to be had.

"The budgets may not be able to be as huge but they don't need to be."

New suspense thriller Mayday, co-starring Sophie Okonedo, Peter Firth and Lesley Manville, begins on BBC One on Sunday night and runs for five nights in a row.

Aidan said: "I'm not sure of what the virtues of that kind of programming are, I'm sure somebody knows. I do know that nowadays people are well used to watching back-to-back episodes of dramas with either box sets or streaming services. In fact, for many people that's preferable."

:: Mayday begins on BBC One on Sunday, March 3 and runs consecutively over five nights

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