We caught up with actor, presenter and aspiring singer/songwriter Tyger Drew-Honey to talk about family holidays, mastery of unusual watersports and his slight sunglasses obsession. The 20-year-old is most famous for his roles as Jake in Outnumbered – which will be back on TV with a Christmas special this year – and Dylan in Cuckoo, soon to be in its fourth series.
This year is set to be busy one for Tyger. As well as returns to Outnumbered and Cuckoo, he is set to reprise his role in BBC sitcom Citizen Khan and soon will be shooting a short film set in London called Blue: A Grafitti Noir. With all this on the horizon, he is planning to make the most of a current gap in his schedule and get away on holiday before filming ramps up in August.
A fan of both city and beach breaks, Tyger says “I like to go somewhere that is always really hot and has got a nice culture. Somewhere like Spain – my parents have got a house there, which is great.”
“City wise,” he adds, “I’ve been to Amsterdam and Paris in the last couple of years. I think my next holiday will be probably to a city, maybe like Berlin or, as my girlfriend is half Chinese, half Norwegian, we might go to Norway for four or five days.”
Fortunate enough to have travelled a lot with work and with his parents, Tyger shot the crime drama Death in Paradise in the Caribbean alongside Kris Marshall, of My Family fame. “I was in the Caribbean for three weeks and I think I worked seven days of that, it was pretty amazing. I have been very lucky in the past. I’ve also worked in Canada and America as well as a few places in Europe.”
“My parents took me to so many nice places,” he continues. “There’s a picture on my Mum’s mantelpiece of me in a rubber ring in a swimming pool in Barbados. I love that image as I see me aged one or two and how happy I am. My favourite family holiday moment would probably be the first time I did watersports, which was in the Maldives when I was eight or nine.”
Since then Tyger has tried his hand at lots of activities, some of them more unusual than others. “I can actually wake board and wake skate pretty darn well. Wake skate is basically a wake board but your feet aren’t strapped into it. I also like doing a lot of scuba diving and I’ve got a few certifications for that.”
“I have to say I do my fair share of lying on the beach and at the pool, but I would say I am quite active when I holiday. I think I give it a mix of nice, relaxing things, appreciating the beach and doing some fun stuff.”
Having spent a lot of time in Thailand when he was younger, Tyger has built up an appreciation of the Phuket area. “My uncle moved to Thailand, married and had kids there and my grandad moved out when my grandma passed away. Because lots of my family were over there and we had cousins to meet, for a few years I went over there around once a year so I’ve been probably been to Thailand about 10 times. I do think it is a gorgeous country with lots of lovely people.
It’s changing though. Last time I went there I was shopping – it looked like I was in Dubai, with amazing chandeliers and all this kind of stuff. It’s gorgeous to look at, especially Phuket.”
So where does this avid traveller hope his work will take him next? “I would love to work in Asia. I think that would be amazing. I went to Tokyo for 10 days a little while back. And if I was asked to work in Australia I’d casually say ‘Ok I’ll do it!’ he jokes. “If I was going to go to Australia though I would probably make sure I did it in a few years when I have saved up enough money to fly first class – isn’t the flight over 20 hours?”
With a long stop off on the way to Australia, Tyger would have plenty of time to indulge in his pre-holiday ritual of sunglasses shopping. “You know some people collect watches and some people collect cars – I collect sunglasses.
“I’ve got maybe 50 pairs of sunglasses because every time I go to the airport I always end up buying them – that is kind of my thing. If my flight is taking off in 15 minutes I will probably think I can risk that, I can do it, I can get some sunglasses and get to the plane. I don’t know what it is with sunglasses – it‘s just holiday-ish.”