3 reasons Greg Davies will be brilliant in The Cleaner

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Greg Davies attends UKTV Live 2016 at BFI Southbank on September 6, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Greg Davies attends UKTV Live 2016 at BFI Southbank on September 6, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images) /

Greg Davies will shine in his new series The Cleaner.

It’s been announced this week that Greg Davies is fronting The Cleaner for BBC One as both star and writer of the upcoming TV crime series—and we couldn’t be more excited.

Based on Der Tatortreiniger, the award-winning German show, Davies’ new project follows crime scene cleaner Paul “Wicky” Wickstead as he cleans up after the violent crimes and mishaps of his neighbors in Shropshire. Naturally, Wicky gets a little more involved than just doing the tidying.

The Cleaner has a great base to start from; the original series ran for more than 30 episodes and was critically acclaimed. But it’s Davies’ hiring, both as star and writer, that propels this one to the top of our must-watch list. He’s going to set this show apart, and here’s why.

More from TV Crime Dramas

Davies is razor-sharp hilarious

Greg Davies has never pulled any punches in his comedy, so he’s a perfect fit for The Cleaner since by its very premise it’s going to be looking for humor in some very dark and inappropriate places.

He’s proven that he can make fun of just about anything—but more than that, he does it in a way that’s genuinely funny. Whereas other comedians might just go for the crude joke or might seize upon the subject matter to be as outrageous as possible, Davies will make viewers laugh without hating themselves (or him). For the show to work, it has to be accessible, and he’ll know what’s funny, what to steer clear of, and how to make things that aren’t necessarily funny worth laughing at.

That includes the fact that he’s charmingly self-deprecating. Davies’ hit series Man Down was essentially him poking fun at his former career as a teacher and the struggles of going through middle age. He won’t be afraid to make himself the butt of a joke, or fall completely flat on his face.

And undoubtedly, there’s going to be a moment where Wicky loses it on someone, and we’ll all be better for it.

His performance will carry the series

Davies’ greatest strength as an actor and comedian is his stage presence. His delivery makes every punchline that much better, and his facial expressions make clear exactly what he’s thinking. Whether it’s his look of utter disgust with humanity, or how he lights up when something makes him laugh, he’s always so in the moment and that’s a huge skill when 80 percent of comedy is how you deliver it.

Another thing he’s great at is knowing when to step back and react to others instead of having to always drive the scene. Some of the best Greg Davies moments in Taskmaster history are when he utilizes his past life experience as a teacher to put contestants back in their place (like James Acaster and the box incident).

We know that The Cleaner is going to revolve around Wicky’s interactions with the people involved in or connected to the crimes he’s mopping up after, so there needs to be somebody who can get the best out of those people who come and go every week. Greg Davies is undoubtedly that man. He makes everyone around him funnier.

He might bring along some friends

Since Greg Davies is also writing The Cleaner, he’ll be coming up with the other quirky characters that Wicky runs into. And Davies happens to know a bunch of other quirky comedians who would be perfect for guest appearances. That’s a win-win for TV crime genre fans.

Could you imagine if Wicky’s boss at Lausen happens to be played by “Little” Alex Horne? It would be fantastic to see that relationship flipped the other way round, with Wicky grousing every time he gets critiqued by his boss whom he sees as totally unfit for the job.

Rhod Gilbert could show up as one of Wicky’s old friends who bumbles his way into accidentally killing someone and then just doesn’t do anything about it. Bob Mortimer or James Acaster would be the perfect eccentric neighbor who comes by to see what happened and won’t get out of the crime scene.

And if there’s any possible way for it to make sense, having Mark Watson and Nish Kumar show up as a pair of bumbling cops would be TV comedy gold. There are so many options for people who Davies plays well off of, and because it’s him, there’s a good chance they’d want to drop in.

Next. Bulletproof's Noel Clarke to star in ITV drama. dark

The Cleaner is coming to BBC One; a premiere date has yet to be announced. There’s not yet a premiere date in the United States.