The Tesco delivery man and my other showbiz friends, by Matt Smith

ONCE you’re catapulted into stardom, as I was when I was Doctor Who for a bit, you get a contact book like you wouldn’t believe. These are five of my most A-list friends: 

The Tesco delivery man

Darren. Or Dean. Or possibly Dale. It doesn’t matter – this guy is my number one, most reliable, always-there-for-me friend. You know how some people, for example Claire Foy, you think you’re close to but when you call they’re all ‘I’m actually filming in Atlanta right now?’ Not this guy. I call and he comes. The laughs we have on the doorstep as I transfer my big shop from his plastic crates into my own bags before storing the groceries in my fridge and/or cupboards. Seriously, top dude.

Kevin, from the gym

When I got the role of Prince Philip, I knew I had to get incredibly ripped like I would for a Marvel movie. If I got offered one. Which I haven’t been because Morbius doesn’t count. Anyway, my personal trainer Kevin and I have been inseparable ever since. We go for lunch – which he charges me for at his normal hourly rate because I’m taking up time he’d otherwise be paid for, I get it – and just chat, for hours. Mainly me because Kev’s a doer, not a thinker. Though he is a drinker. He had seven pints of Strongbow last time.

The landlord of the Sir Pickering Phipps public house

You know who’ll be on my arm at the House of the Dragon premiere? Not a glamorous actress like my ex Lily James, but the landlord of my local. We spend hours together in companiable silence. I drink by the fruit machine, waiting for some luckless knobhead to pump a load of quids in, then I slip in and rinse it for the jackpot. He doesn’t even know I’m famous. Shit, I forgot to ask him to the premiere. And it’s quiz night. Shit.

Hans from Dusseldorf

I began writing to Hans when I started secondary school at 11 and was made to in German lessons, and I’ve written to him every single week since for 28 years. 1,450 letters detailing my entire life from school to Hollywood. There have been highs and lows but I couldn’t have done it without him. And never once has the prick replied. Once he does, I’m sure he’ll fill me in on his hectic decades. If he doesn’t it’s been a total waste of time. I genuinely hate the Krauts.

@sniperkitten217 who I play Fortnite with

I often work on location and during those lonely hotel nights I’ve got well into Fortnite. I was a total ‘n00b’ until @sniperkitten217 took me under his wing and showed me how to find shield potions, when to deploy an assault rifle, tips on gaining higher ground, all that. He’s honestly the coolest guy ever. I look up to him. I’m pretty sure he’s a 13-year-old from Arkansas, but that’s not important to me. Next week is a big week, because I’m getting the new FIFA. That kid is about to get destroyed.

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Saving Private Ryan: The best war film ever, if you've not seen many war films

WITH a Rotten Tomatoes user score of 95 per cent and a high ranking in every ‘greatest films of all time’ poll, it’s practically illegal not to love Saving Private Ryan. So what on earth could be wrong with this flawless WW2 masterpiece?

Tom Hanks

Amiable Hanks doesn’t quite convince as US ranger Captain John Miller. The film partly explains this by saying he was a school teacher previously, but in reality his casting was probably due to him being very, very bankable at the time. Sadly the viewer can’t forget him as a doofus in Splash. Or the awkward issue of sex with a 12-year-old in Big.

It’s amazing if you haven’t seen any other war films 

The praise is so effusive you wonder if fans have seen a war film before. There are quite a few. For realism there’s Stalingrad or Full Metal Jacket. Epics like A Bridge Too Far are pretty historically accurate. Apocalypse Now may have artistic pretensions, but it’s got a lot to say about Vietnam. Or if man’s inhumanity to man is your thing there’s Come and See. Although you may need counselling afterwards.

It’s pure Hollywood underneath the grittiness  

The Tiger tank apparently exploding after being shot with a pistol is a classic clever Spielberg shot. Meanwhile characters follow the classic trajectory of overcoming a challenge and emerging a better person. It’s satisfying Hollywood fare, and you feel thoroughly entertained by the end. Like Jaws, oddly enough.

It ignores the role of other nations in D-Day

A common but slightly hair-splitting criticism. It is, after all, an American film with an American focus. However it does inadvertently wander into ‘America singlehandedly won the war’ territory. The last thing we need is another Pearl Harbor, a film so realistic Ben Affleck may as well have karate-kicked Hitler off the roof of the Reichstag and shagged Leni Riefenstahl.

True story syndrome 

US soldiers whose siblings had all died were sent home or put in a safe role. Frederick Niland, who Ryan was based on, wasn’t ever lost and no rescue party was sent after him – and such missions would probably be deemed too risky. The film never claims to be true, but it loses some of its gravitas when you realise the actual story is as made-up as Thelma & Louise.   

The prologue and epilogue 

The scenes of Ryan visiting Miller’s grave add nothing to the story. Unless you felt a good film needed to be bookended by schmaltz about the ‘greatest generation’ and some crowd-pleasing shots of the American flag. If you need a war film to hammer home how great America is, there’s not exactly a shortage.