Philip Glenister has some choice words for world travellers (Picture: ITV)
The Life on Mars actor, 60, said he was ‘annoyed’ by people who take multiple trips to foreign countries and had himself only holidayed in the UK over the past four years when he spoke to Metro.co.uk ahead of the release of his new eco-thriller After the Flood.
‘I mean I will go on holiday abroad again, at some point,’ the Ashes to Ashes star shared after revealing the measures he had taken to protect the environment, among them reduced foreign travel, recycling and using an electric bike
‘But we’ll only have one holiday [abroad a year] as the other thing that annoys me is: people having to go away every half term on holiday abroad. Why do you have to go on four holidays a year? Just stay here.’
Philip also despaired at the likes of prime minister Rishi Sunak, David Cameron and King Charles travelling to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai late last year via private jet.
Philip stars in a new ITV thriller After the Flood which addresses climate change (Picture: ITV)
Downing Street confirmed all three would each be getting their own private plane and defended the decision, explaining the government was ‘not anti-flying.’
Philip, however, said he was baffled by the lack of a clear justification given for using the gas-guzzling transport when ministers were grilled over the controversy.
He said: ‘There was a minister on the telly the other morning being asked about it. And he said, “Well, I wasn’t there. I didn’t do the booking.”
Philip said it was unnecessary for people to take multiple foreign holidays (Picture: Getty Images)
‘Well, somebody should have forewarned you that you’re going to be asked that on behalf of the government and you better have an answer, and as usual, they haven’t got an answer. And it’s just getting boring.
‘Sorry, I’m getting a bit on the high horse, but people look and see Sunak doing that, the King doing that – and they’re all in these private jets – and they think, “F** it.”
‘You’ve got to lead by example. And I’m sure there are reasons behind it like security needs but then just explain why you couldn’t go on a commercial flight.’
Philip starred alongside Keeley Hawes in Ashes to Ashes (Picture: BBC / Kudos)
In response, a government spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘This government’s approach to tackling climate change is not about banning or reducing flying for people, it is about investing in new green technologies of the future, such as sustainable aviation fuel.
‘When attending International summits, UK government ministers fly commercially where appropriate or feasible, and where it is not, we Carbon Offset to minimise the overall impact.’
While After the Flood, which follows police officer Jo’s (Sophie Rundle) investigation into a dead body discovered in the aftermath of a devastating flood, addressing extreme weather caused by climate change, Philip said the show is not ‘preachy.’
When asked if he feared the response from climate change deniers, he said: ‘ I don’t like it when actors prattle on about their beliefs and things. Some people do it and they’re very eloquent, they’re very intelligent at doing it.
One of his biggest roles was opposite Jon Simm on Life on Mars(Picture: BBC)
‘Personally, I’m not a fan of it. At the end of the day, I’m an actor; nobody gives a s*** what I think. I mean, seriously, I don’t think they do.’
But he did single out one exception: Stephen Fry. ‘I listen to Stephen because he’s intelligent, he’s eloquent and he knows what he’s talking about,’ Philip explained.
‘But generally speaking, I get a bit uncomfortable when I see actors or musicians or celebrities getting up and telling us how we should all be saving the planet. I think just as long as we do our best…’
Back to After the Flood. In it, Philip plays Jack Radcliffe, the founder of a property empire, who is about to embark on a green eco-development before his plans are thrown into chaos following the flood.
Philip hit out at King Charles for taking a private jet to a climate conference (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
Philip also expressed bafflement over the government’s lack of justification for the flight (Picture: Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Despite his character’s job, Philip is clear that the six-parter shows the ‘big picture’ about society at large, beyond just addressing climate change. He also argued that TV dramas present the most ‘truth’ about what is happening in the world.
Philip said: ‘What’s interesting is [After the Flood] a bigger picture than just climate change. We’re now living in a world where we don’t know who’s telling the truth. We’ve seen it with our politicians.
‘And it seems to be, well, lying is the norm: you can just lie. Nobody’s dealing with facts. It’s a very confusing time, I think, for people because they don’t know who to believe. They don’t know who they want to vote for because they don’t trust any of them, and I’m talking about all sides here.
After the Flood follows Sophie’s police officer investigate a murder (Picture: ITV)
‘So I think television dramas are one of the ways of getting a message across to people saying, “Look, it might be a fictional story and a fictional town but we’re making some points here that aren’t being addressed properly by the government and councils, etc, etc.”
‘You’re getting more truths in a way through our writers, through drama, or dramatists with what’s going on in the world.’
Outside of acting, Philip has also ventured into the world of TV presenting, namely as the co-host of motoring show For the Love of Cars, alongside car designer Ant Anstead.
Philip denied rumours he was approached to present Top Gear (Picture: BBC)
There were even rumours Philip was in talks to present Top Gear, following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson and shortly after James May and Richard Hammond.
However, he has shut down speculation, revealing was never approached by the BBC. ‘No, no, no,’ he said when asked if he was being lined up as a replacement presenter.
‘The papers had just got a list of people who had presented a car show over the last few years and were like “I’ll put them down, put them down” [myself included.’
Top Gear has been put on ‘rest’ after Flintoff was injured while filming the show (Picture: Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)
‘I remember that I spoke to my agent at the time and said, “Has anybody been in touch about Top Gear?” And it was a no. It was never something that was going to happen and I was never approached.’
Had he been asked by the broadcaster, Philip said the answer would have been a ‘no’ explaining that his car knowledge is too ‘rubbish’ for the show.
However, given that The Grand Tour could be coming to an end and Top Gear has been put on ‘rest’ after Freddie Flintoff’s horror crash, would he entertain the idea of launching a new show in that space?
‘I think you’ve got to get the chemistry right between presenters. There was talk of me and Ant maybe doing some more For the Love of Cars but there are so many shows now similar to that. Never say never, but at the same time, I’m not going to hold my breath.
‘Regardless of what you think of Clarkson, May, and Hammond, as a threesome, they work incredibly well: they know each other well; there’s a great chemistry there. I think that was the problem with Top Gear in a way: it was hard to recreate that chemistry.
He added: ‘I’m not expecting the phone to ring, put it that way.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted Buckingham Palace, Number 10 Downing Street and the foreign office for comment.
After the Flood premieres on ITV and ITVX at 9pm on Wednesday.
Got a story?
If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.
He has some choice words for world travellers.