Please forward this error screen to 209. Oh, Detective Hathaway, what would Inspector Lewis say? Read this: Oh, Detective Hathaway, oh Carol – Various – 40 Fantastic Hits From The 50’s And 60’s would Inspector Lewis say? Yes, that really IS Lewis’s pious sidekick in full rock god mode.

Laurence Fox has a problem with rules. This is a man who in the Costa Rican jungle for ITV’s Bear Grylls: Mission Survive was expressly warned not to venture into a cavernous pothole without first tying himself securely to a member of his team. And I just jumped straight on in,’ he laughs. This Mr Fox is fantastic company, probably because he is neither sensible nor censored. In a small café on a mid-afternoon, he orders a bottle of beer and settles down to chat. Fox is releasing his debut album, Holding Patterns, this month.

Fox’s sound is broadly eclectic but highly commercial folk-rock with a dash of Eighties power pop thrown in for good measure. Some songs he wrote more than a decade ago. I started writing when I was at drama school,’ he says. Fox was already a famous actor by the time he decided to get serious about his music.

He tells a story about how he had to fend off offers from record companies, eager to turn him into the next Robson and Jerome. A while back I was asked to meet with a record executive at a pretty big label. He shook my hand, took off his shoes, lay on a sofa and started telling me what the music business was and how I would fit in. I could have been offended but I actually thought it was pretty funny. I had to explain that I’d written my own songs.

I can’t even drink my way out of it because alcohol dries up your throat. It’s like being in the theatre but better because it’s your words, your music. But I’m not going to consider myself anything till I’ve done at least 100 gigs. And what does his wife, actress Billie Piper, think? She started out as a teenage pop star, but gave it up at 21. Has she given him any advice?

She doesn’t interfere or tell me how to do things. Neither of us give each other advice. But we do give each other a lot of support. She gets that this has been a passion for a long time. And yes, a few of the songs are about her and about us. Being with Bill has been a good thing for me.

Even as an actor, Fox has always been rock ’n’ roll. He looks the part, with his long Withnail And I coat, roll-up cigarettes and tattoos. People always think the Foxes are posh. And I guess maybe I am posh but I’ve never thought I’m better than anyone else. My wife’s not posh and I don’t judge people for it. He couldn’t get a place at university, despite good A-level results, because his report from Harrow, from which he’d been expelled, was so bad. I don’t want to get into a fight about it but I hated Harrow,’ he says.