Tom Felton admits he knew 'more about sharks' than current role

The Harry Potter star is playing one of the scientists who created IVF in a new production with The Crown star Meg Bellamy.

Tom Felton arrives for the annual WellChild Awards 2023 at the Hurlingham Club in London. Picture date: Thursday September 7, 2023. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Tom Felton says he learned a lot preparing for his current role. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Tom Felton has spoken about the eye-opening experience of playing the scientist who created IVF in his latest role, admitting "I knew more about sharks".

Harry Potter star Felton plays Robert Edwards in Bristol Old Vic's production A Child of Science and appeared on Wednesday's One Show alongside cast mate Meg Bellamy, who stars as Jean Purdy, to talk about the play.

They were joined on the sofa by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith who shared details of the last ever series of Inside No 9, and the forthcoming stage show.

Tom Felton might be starring in new play A Child of Science as Robert Edwards, one of the scientists who created IVF, but he has admitted the subject was less familiar to him than sharks before he took on the role.

Felton, who is best known for playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, spoke to The One Show about how much he had learned in preparing for the role.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 16: Actor Tom Felton attends the opening ceremony for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo - The Making of Harry Potter on June 16, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan.  (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
Tom Felton is best known for his role as Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter. (WireImage)

He said: "There was a wonderful time where I just assumed (IVF) had always been available to women or people who couldn't have children, but it was so recent.

"I was surprised that I knew more about WW2 and sharks via Discovery Channel than I did about this subject."

However, Felton and co-star Meg Bellamy, whose first major role was as Kate Middleton in The Crown, were guided by people with first-hand experience of the fertility treatment.

Felton said: "Our writer and director both had their children through IVF and know the history extensively much better than I do so I've been fascinated by not only the science but also the human element."

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith are returning with the final season of Inside No 9. (BBC)
Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith are returning with the final season of Inside No 9. (BBC)

The One Show also welcomed Inside No 9 creators Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith ahead of the series' final ever run beginning tonight.

Although the duo are known for their character work, they shared that there will not be quite as many outlandish costumes and prosthetics in the new series as earlier in their careers.

Pemberton said: "We're a bit older now and we're a bit more mature so we're not dressing up as much as we did in League of Gentlemen."

Season nine's debut episode will feature Mark Bonnar, Siobhan Finneran and Matthew Kelly as the show is known for signing up impressive guest casts.

Pemberton said that they always wrote their characters before thinking who would play them and said: "We ask our director to draw up lists and we're like kids in a candy store choosing from these great actors."

Inside No 9 is heading into its final series, but tickets for a West End stage show version beginning in January 2025 have gone on sale today.

The One Show airs on BBC One at 7pm on weekdays.