Mr Bean, Has-Bean (?)

WARNING! There's some fruity language in this clip. NSFW!

I wanted to have a look at this clip ever since first watching it a couple of days ago.

I love Rowan Atkinson. I've loved him since his first days of solo stand-up. His ability to create laughter with just a look is incredible.

He also doesn't do much press, so I jumped on this as an example of a great interview, by someone who just doesn't do them.

There's a couple of reasons that Rowan doesn't do much press. For a start, he's incredibly shy; much more comfortable spending time with his family and his cars, than on a red carpet or star-studded event.

Also - he has a stammer. He's clearly been working on reducing it as much as possible, and that's something else that makes this interview something quite incredible.

His approach to the interview is simple. His only Key Message is to publicise his new film. He does that well, with help from Graham Norton who clearly knows why he is on there, and plays a clip from the film too.

However, there are other things that you simply must ask Rowan Atkinson about - one of them being Mr Bean. This is a global character, known by millions. His last appearance as Mr Bean (apart from the chocolate bar commercial) was in 2015. People love the character, and many of them would love to see him return.

Graham was always going to ask about it, and even if Rowan didn't have the nod from the BBC about that question, he's certainly savvy enough to know that it would come up.

So - does he, when asked, simply say  'Nah - there's nowt else to do!'?

Of course not. That kind of answer just doesn't work on a show like Graham Norton's. It's all about the anecdote; the story; the tale. In this age of 'share-ability', celebrities telling short stories can be shared across social media, creating a much bigger audience.

And that's another aspect of the wonderful nature of this interview. From watching it a number of times, Rowan goes into a character. True, it's a character called Rowan Atkinson who looks exactly like himself - but he just has a bit more about himself; a bit more spunk (no laughing at the back!)

The story itself is lovely, but Rowan's telling of it gives it a new dimension, a new life which makes it wholly his. And that's the lesson here.

If you are doing an interview, and the question, or opportunity, comes up to tell a story about yourself - take it. However, keep in mind a couple of things.

Obviously, make sure that the story is one that can be repeated/broadcast in polite company.

Also, make sure that you've practised it. You can be sure that Rowan Atkinson practised telling the story about the man in the car parts centre near Peterborough. That's how he knew where the peaks were, where the pauses should be, what kind of voice he should use for the man - and what the ending of the story should be.

Sometimes, with some interviews, it's not enough to just get your Key Message across - sometimes 'they' want more. You just need to have a cunning plan up your sleeve for when that moment arrives.

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2 thoughts on “Mr Bean, Has-Bean (?)”

  1. I watched it too and loved it all the more because Rowan doesn’t do a lot of chat shows (although he could) and because of his understated style.

    Thanks for your take. Some interesting observations.

    • I was so excited to see that he was on – but also surprised! I’ve watched it a number of times since posting this article. Thanks for commenting!

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