Interview with Tom Riley for The Guardian, promoting Da Vinci's Demons
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Unmissable show?

I loved Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton's Inside No 9. The way that they constrained each episode to a single location, then tasked themselves with including completely new characters every week, within a single half-hour. It could have been a disaster, but that economy of time and place meant it was just inventive and creative, entertaining… I loved it.

Earliest TV memory?

I've got a foggy memory of a terrifying show on the BBC that I think starred a very young Kate Winslet. It might have been a Russell T Davies show [We think Tom might be referring to Dark Season – Ed]. I feel like there was a spiky-haired blond villain called Mr Eldritch who was importing deadly computers into schools. I can't remember what it was called, but that guy terrified me. I feel like the second half had something about a massive tunnel of doom being dug somewhere. The other memory is of Ace, Sylvester McCoy's Doctor's companion, being transformed into a cat-person by Doctor Who.

Bring back…

Top Of The Pops, easy. We live in a world now where we can get any track instantly, but there was just something special about having this half-hour of weirdness every week where you could indulge in the incongruity of David Bowie playing live next to Steps. Mastermind specialist subject? Probably the TV show Lost. I got obsessed with it over the six years and fell down the rabbit-hole.

Come Dine With Me lineup?

I'd definitely have Leonardo da Vinci there, so I could see if my lemon meringue pie could make up for all the wilfully wild historical inaccuracies we perpetrated against him in the series. I'd probably get Dave Lamb's snarky voiceover to be done by some of the more acerbic members of the Guardian Comment section, but it would just be me and Da Vinci at the dinner.

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