From binge drinking to boxing, the West family has introduced Lloyd Draper to all manner of new hobbies. JOANNA HUNKIN spoke to actor Scott Harding to see how he's coping with life out West

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Softly spoken and slightly awkward, Lloyd Draper is the odd one out amid the western wilderness of Outrageous Fortune. But the bumbling bank manager, played by Scott Harding, is winning fans with his earnest approach to life, becoming a surprise hit of the popular series.

TimeOut caught up with Harding to discuss his burgeoning fan base and new-found boxing skills.

So Lloyd seems to have developed quite a loyal following. Are you up to date on all the forums that have been created about the character?
Yeah, actually my sister-in-law is a huge fan of the show and I was talking to her the other night and she said, 'Oh, have you gone on the website? There's all these people talking about Lloyd.' So I had a bit of a nosy, and yeah, I was quite surprised.

It is a bit surprising. He's quite an odd character ...
He is. When I first started playing Lloyd, when he first came in in the second season, there wasn't too much about who he was. I basically just started playing him as a nervous sort of a guy, just from how it was written in the script. I think the main thing about Lloyd is he's a guy who's completely out of his element when he's with the Wests. He doesn't know how to fit in, or what's the right thing to say or do. These people are completely foreign to him. His relationship that's developed with Rochelle is completely out of left field. they look quite odd together. That's where a lot of the comedy comes from. They're the last two people in the world you would expect to hook up.

Why do you think people do like him so much?
It's hard to say really, but it's probably to do with the fact he's just an ordinary kind of guy. He's an ordinary guy thrown into extraordinary circumstances. A lot of what happens to him isn't through his own doing, it's because of his involvement with the family. He just goes for the ride and finds himself doing things he would never normally do.

Lloyd spends a lot of his time being beaten up during the show. When you first read that in the script, did you have any reservations?
Not at all, no. I was just going for the ride. It was like, 'He takes up boxing? Oh, okay. Sweet as.'

Did you have any training?
They've got an on-set fight instructor and they brought in a martial arts instructor who was also a fighting instructor. We just knuckled out a few basic moves which we then put into the ring. There were a couple of times there where I caught a couple of nice ones and saw stars before my eyes. It was during the boxing scene with the fight instructor who was playing the other manager. There was a bit in the fight where he had me in a corner and went thump, thump, thump. A couple of them just caught me a little bit.

Lloyd is the only straight, middle-class character in a cast full of Westies. Do you ever wish you got to play a crim instead?
Look, I'm neither here nor there on the whole thing really. I really enjoy playing the guy who is completely out of his element. That's actually really challenging. Although it would have been great to play a nasty bugger. No, it's interesting because with Lloyd, you don't know what's going to happen next or how he's going to react.

Do you think he's secretly a dark horse and has the potential to flip?
I think the more he hangs around the Wests, the more potential there is for him to lose it a little bit. In last week's episode he got into the drinking a bit. Since he's met Rochelle, he's discovered alcohol. Waa-hey!

Who: Scott Harding as Lloyd Draper, the punching bag banker and nice guy in Outrageous Fortune
When & Where: TV3, Tuesdays, 9.30p