United Kingdom Television Welcomes A New Star
You probably know Matthew Dentith. You may have seen him in â€˜Classics,â€™ where he played a young man who dreamt of becoming a Jesuit. Perhaps you saw him in â€˜Philosophyâ€™ as the pedagogue who wasnâ€™t exactly bucking the system as bending it to his whim. Now, starting early December, youâ€™ll have to be in the UK to see this rising star in his new Britcom, â€˜Personal Management.â€™
â€œMatthew is an actor who weâ€™ve been looking to find the right role for.â€ Killarney Poppet, Esq., Matthewâ€™s agent for ten years now, explains. â€œHe was one of the principals of â€˜Classicsâ€™ but when that [show] hit its fourth season it started focussing on life after university and he was more of a cameo than anything else. As the mood went from sitcom to drama his character didnâ€™t really fit in.â€
It was at this time that Matthewâ€™s character was spun out to a brand new series set at the same University but in a completely different department.
â€œIt just made sense; the former priestly-hopeful now philosophically-wondering character had to go somewhere, so why not Philosophy?â€ Chip D. Hardstuff, the producer of â€˜Classicsâ€™ and â€˜Philosophyâ€™ speaks out. â€œWe were able to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, and get back to those early days of character interplay that we had on â€˜Classicsâ€™ but intellectualise it.â€
The show ran for seven years. Recently, however, Matthew was clearly uncomfortable with the direction â€˜Philosophyâ€™ was taking.
â€œWhen I first came on board it was very much an ensemble show; we were all postgraduates from different disciplines trying to make some sense of it all. Then, as people went off to other jobs the cast really reduced itself down to a few core people, myself included. Now that weâ€™ve hit the seventh year the producers are trying to get that ensemble feeling going again, and I canâ€™t help but think that Iâ€™ve done this all before.â€
Renewed now for an eighth season, â€˜Philosophyâ€™ will have to do without its sole surviving first season member. In a rare move the character is changing networks and professions with his jump to UK television in the new series â€˜Personal Management.â€™
â€œI was looking to write my first proper series and key in my mind was â€˜What kind of characters are we going to be dealing with?â€™â€ HORansome, writer of â€˜Personal Management,â€™ fills us in. â€œSomeone suggested Matthew. It suddenly seemed so very obvious; the whole fish out of water times two. Different job, different location; itâ€™s comedy gold.â€
Matthew will be starring with two co-stars in the British-produced â€˜Personal Managementâ€™ which sees Matthew relocate from Auckland, New Zealand to London, England. Gone is the whole academic side as Matthew will be working as a PA and seeing life from the other side for a change.
â€œIâ€™m really excited by this move,â€ Matthew told us last week in interview. â€œNew locations, new ideas; I canâ€™t wait to see what they have in store for my character. And, you know, itâ€™s not as if my influence on â€˜Philosophyâ€™ wonâ€™t still be felt…â€
The show also plans to feature a number of cameos from both â€˜Classicsâ€™ and â€˜Philosophy,â€™ and some of them are promising to be very surprising indeed.
Filming for the new series starts on the 28th of November with a location shoot at Heathrow airport. However New Zealand viewers will have a chance to say goodbye to the character of Matthew with the telemovie â€˜Leavingâ€™ which plays on the 27th of November, which also sets up the new series.
â€˜Personal Managementâ€™sâ€™ season premiere will screen in early January.
-IAN, November 2005