In the heat of the Monaco sun, Mark Addy sips a beer: hair of the dog and all that. The night before, the 47-year-old was on the town with his Game of Thrones’ co-star, and fellow Yorkshireman, Sean Bean. If their hangdog appearance at that morning’s press conference was any indication, a good time was had by all. So it’s impossible to resist as an opening gambit, a question born from the title of his upcoming TV show. That’s called Trollied. Was he?

Addy laughs. It’s a hearty laugh and a knowing one, as you might expect from the big actor whose big break involved being naked and wrapped in cling-film for The Full Monty. In answer, he sips his beer and chomps on a pudgy cigar: oblivious to the glamorous surrounds of the Monte Carlo TV Festival, where beer drinking is the exception and rotund people are a rarity.

As this is his final interview of the day, Addy is in a relaxed mood – although it’s difficult to imagine the affable actor being any other way. He seems to enjoy a good chinwag, bouncing from his unlikely career (his father was a glazier at York Minster) to his breakthrough movie (Monty) which he ‘blundered’ into and his subsequent adventures in La La Land.

Indeed, the last time I met Addy was in a Hollywood TV studio. Then surfing the wave of his Full Monty success, the actor had been cast as the lead in a CBS sitcom called Still Standing. He looked somewhat lost against the plastic backdrop of Beverly Hills, just as he now seems at odds with the coiffed denizens of Monaco. “I was like a fish out of water”, he agrees. “I loved doing the work but never felt at home there and never believed that I would settle in America. I’ve never been in LA looking for work, I’ve only been there in order to do a job and then head home. I found it all oddly unreal. But I’m still standing.”

He surely is and doing rather nicely. Having never moved far from his York home – Addy now lives in a village just outside the city with his wife Kelly and their three children, Ruby, Charlie and Oscar – he keeps a low profile but is rarely out of work. After losing his head as the hedonistic King Robert in Game of Thrones, Addy next appears opposite Jane Horrocks in Trollied, an everyday comedy set in a fictional supermarket called Valco. The series is written by Ash Atalla (The IT Crowd) and features Addy as “a guy who has opinions on all kinds of things, from Björk to whether the lunar landings really happened.”

The actor enjoyed the role, the shoot and the change of scenery. “It was a lot of fun shooting Trollied”, says Addy. “I had read a few scripts which were purportedly comedies but it was great to get one that is actually funny. Everybody knows how a supermarket works and this is a look at the people who work in one of these places day in and day out and how they manage to stay sane in what can be a very mundane world.”

Addy never seemed likely for the mundane life. At the age of 15, he was already doing odd jobs backstage at the York Theatre Royal, where he fell in love with showbusiness. Two years later, elbow deep in his A-Levels, he was offered a job as a stagehand and dived in. Within a year, he won a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), much to the relief of his anxious parents. After some TV work, including Band of Gold and a recurring role as a police officer in iffy comedy, The Thin Blue Line, he was cast in a small budget film. It was his movie debut and he was paid £15,000. The film was The Full Monty. After that, nothing would be the same again.

Today, Addy says that his performance in The Full Monty was like his Hollywood calling card. It lead to big-budget feature films like Jack Frost with Michael Keaton and big flops like The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, in which he played Fred Flintstone and was reportedly paid $2 million. But Addy’s greatest success was on the small screen, in Still Standing, a ratings topper that ran for four years. Otherwise, it was hit-and-miss, with the upside being the medieval spoof A Knight’s Tale and the iconic role of Friar Tuck in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. “I don’t know how people can sit in the same office day in and day out saying the same old things like ‘Morning!’ ‘Morning!’” says the man whose only office work has been on stage or on screen. “With acting, you’re constantly being asked to create something new, whether it’s comic or dramatic or whatever. It’s always challenging in some way.”

Game of Thrones, which is currently shooting a second series in Belfast, but without Addy, was one of the most challenging. In a show he described as ‘Lord of the Rings for grown-ups’, Addy played the doomed King Robert as a “cross between Sir Richard the Lionheart and Henry VIII”. He says that he will continue to watch the show but he’s already moved onto pastures new with the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations (due to be screened next Christmas in anticipation of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth). In the three-part mini-series, which also stars Ray Winstone and Gillian Anderson, Addy plays Pip’s ‘uncle’, Pumblechook, described by the author as a ‘large, hard-breathing, middle-aged, slow man, with a mouth like a fish’.

For the actor, it is yet another challenge and he’s chomping at the bit. “A little bit of Dickens”, says Addy, sipping his beer under the azure skies of the South of France. “Life is good.”

Trollied premieres on Sky 1 on August 4 with a double episode.

Donal O'Donoghue