Richie (AKA OliverandToad13) got in contact with Rupert Degas for an interview by email. Thank you very much to Rupert for your patience and answers to his questions!

1. How did you get involved with the show?

I was known by HIT from years of voicing Scrambler on Bob the Builder, so I was delighted when they asked me to audition for Flynn. One thing led to another, and now I play several characters - which is great!

2. Did you have any prior knowledge of the show?

Of course. What Beatles fan doesn't know that Ringo Starr was the first to tell the Thomas stories? I'd never watched it though, so it was new to me on that sense.

3. Did you audition for the role of certain characters only, or was it HiT's choice who voiced who?

Every character that is written has to go through an audition process, either with new actors or from the existing cast. There are many people who have to approve the director's choice. One example was Diesel 10. After recording several versions, it was decided by the executives in America that my interpretation of Diesel 10 was too frightening, so they had to find another actor. I don't mind - that's show business.

4. Do you voice any of the following characters, and if not do you have any idea who does? Merrick, Luke, Winston, Duncan, Rusty, Duke, Bertram, Jack, Alfie, Nelson, Buster, Kelly, Patrick, Oliver.

I have no idea who they are, sorry.

5. Was it your choice about how to voice the characters, or did HiT tell you the voices they wanted?

The director and writer have an idea of what kind of voice and accent they want, but they are always open to being pleasantly surprised by the creative inout from the actors. It is a team effort.

6. How did you get into voice acting?

I started dubbing films when I was in between theatre jobs. One thing led to another and I found myself doing more and more animation and radio. I then got into narrating audiobooks and providing voices for video-games. Suddenly I didn't have any time to do any theatre because I was so busy as a voice actor. It was great to find a niche for myself that would earn me a living while doing something I love. And the hours are better than theatre work. I can spend the evenings with my family instead of on the last train home!

Thanks for your time Rupert.

My pleasure. (:

Note: All opinions expressed in interviews belong solely to the crew or cast member interviewed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia or HiT Entertainment.