JONATHAN Watson is back on stage in Glasgow, in a comic and poignant one-man show about dogs, and dog-walking, and life in the pandemic, and grief, and reflection, and companionship.

The star of Two Doors Down, Only an Excuse and recently, Doctor Who, is hesitant to describe the story, or the part he plays, or really anything about it at all.

“I don’t want to give too much away,” he says. “It’s basically about a guy who takes up dog-walking during the pandemic, as a way of escaping lockdown.”

He pauses. “And he has some adventures,” he adds.

“There are a few surprises.”

Glasgow Times: Jonathan in rehearsal at Oran Mor. Photo: Nicola Watson

Is he a dog-lover himself?

“Well, yes, I am,” he says. “I have a dog. I don’t think that was what got me the job, though...”

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Man’s Best Friend, this week’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint at Oran Mor, is written by Douglas Maxwell – who has also written the book for the forthcoming musical adaptation of Peter Mullan’s film Orphans – and directed by PPP’s new artistic director Jemima Levick.

The chance to work with both Maxwell and Levick again was the draw for Jonathan, who has appeared at PPP just once before.

Glasgow Times: Jonathan and Elaine C Smith in Two Doors Down. Photographer: Alan Peebles

“Every year, I try to do at least one play,” he explains. “Whatever else I’m doing, it’s always good to be back in theatre. I’d worked with Jemima before on Fibres, with Stellar Quines and that was a great experience so when I was approached to do this I was really keen to take part.”

Written by award-winning playwright Frances Poet, Fibres tackled the big subject of asbestos poisoning through the story of a shipyward worker and his wife.

“Frances did a fantastic job,” says Jonathan. “It’s a subject that affects so many people, and yet hardly anyone talks about it. I felt very privileged to do it.”

Glasgow Times: Jonathan in Only an Excuse. Pic: BBC

Jonathan has been a star of radio, stage and screen in Scotland for the best part of four decades, best known for sketch show Naked Radio (later Naked Video), Only an Excuse and the sitcom Two Doors Down, in which he plays one of a succession of infuriating and selfish neighbours to Alex Norton and Arabella Weir’s long-suffering and mild-mannered Eric and Beth.

“It’s a great show to work on – the scripts are brilliant, the cast are fantastic,” he says.

Recently, in a role just as about as far removed as you can get from mild-mannered dog walker Ronnie in Man’s Best Friend, or irritating Colin in Two Doors Down, Jonathan appeared in Doctor Who: Flux, as a vicious villain.

As Skaak and Ritskaw, in War of the Sontarans, Jonathan played nasty Sontaran soldiers intent on conquering the Earth, despite the best efforts of the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her companions. The make-up was exceptional, and hideous.

Glasgow Times: Jonathan Watson.

“Really? I thought I looked like my dad,” jokes Jonathan. “That was a lot of fun to do – it was a fantastic experience. Jodie is really wonderful to work with.

“The hardest part was all the secrecy – I couldn’t tell anyone anything. And I had to be on the set for 8am, which meant getting to make up by 3.30 in the morning.”

He smiles: “But I loved every second of it. I don’t think I really appreciated how many people watch Doctor Who – it’s one of the most watched TV programmes in the world.

“I mean, I’ve had fan mail before, for stuff like Two Doors Down, but it is nothing – NOTHING – like the scale of what I received for doing Doctor Who.”

Jonathan has even attended a couple of conventions, he admits.

“Someone said to me, that’s it now, you’re part of this world,” he says. “It is amazing, meeting all these mad keen fans. But it was a huge privilege to be part of it.”

Man’s Best Friend is at Oran Mor as part of lunchtime theatre series A Play A Pie and A Pint until Saturday.