Guilty pleasure? Terrible Elvis Presley movies – I’m a big Elvis fan – although I don’t think you should feel guilty about pleasures.
Where is home? With family. I live in Highgate, North London, but my parents’ place in Hounslow still feels like home.
Career plan B? This is my career plan B! I spent eight years in marketing before starting to act and write professionally at the age of 34.
Who would play you in a movie of your life? Definitely me – I’m available, I’m cheap and the likeness is remarkable.
Biggest bugbear? Binary thinking on issues, in which nuance and complexity play no part.
As a child you wanted to be… I remember when I was about five telling an uncle I wanted to be an actor and my dad said, ‘It’s pronounced “doctor”.’
Secret to a happy relationship? Solving problems together.
Your best quality? I like people and I’m not judgmental.
And your worst? I can be very lazy.
Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? I don’t think of myself as romantic, but when my wife [actress and writer Meera Syal] was appearing on Broadway in Bombay Dreams, which she co-wrote, I flew to New York as a surprise.
Last meal on earth? Either a Sunday roast or aloo parathas.
Dream dinner-party guests? All my close friends.
Advice to teenage self? What you do next is who you are – you aren’t defined by what has happened.
Cat or dog? We have a cat, Lola, but I suspect I’m a dog person, although I’ve never had one.
Starstruck moment? Stephen Fry introducing me to Roger Moore, who became a friend. The whole family were fans of his in The Saint when I was growing up.
Big break? Goodness Gracious Me, which was on Radio 4 before moving to television in 1998.
Career highlight? Meeting the Pythons when I was playing King Arthur in Spamalot in the West End. I became friends with Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin.
Favourite tipple? The Crazy Singh Crazy Gin is the best I’ve ever tasted.
Top of your bucket list? To play James Bond. One thing that would make your life better? Being fitter.
Philosophy? Life is a journey, not a series of destinations.
Biggest lesson you have learnt about money? Live within your means and know the difference between what you need and what you want.
Biggest lesson you have learnt about women? I will never understand them, but I do know they are equal with men.
Last film that made you cry? Paddington 2, if that doesn’t sound too self-serving as I was in it. It’s really moving.
First record you bought? The first album was Moody Blue by Elvis and first single was ‘Contact’ by Edwin Starr.
Best present you ever received? My son Shaan, who is now 12. I was at an age  when I’d started to think I might have missed fatherhood, so it was a nice surprise and a huge privilege.
Biggest fear? Suddenly realising that I’ve been a terrible parent.
Celebrity crush? Nicola Walker, my co-star in Unforgotten.
Happiness is… My family laughing, possibly at me.
Unforgotten continues on ITV, Sundays at 9pm
Interview by John Koski