IT’S a bit un-nerving when you spot someone familiar for a longstanding role suddenly pop up against type in another.

I have always had this, admittedly useless and annoying, ability to remember the names and faces of actors and actresses above other more useful skills like mental arithmetic.

I’m also good at the “who’s doing the voiceover game”. Yes, also a completely useless talent.

But it took even my heightened abilities a while to spot comedian Ray Romano in Sky Atlantic’s new drama Vinyl.

For a start he is hidden behind quite an impressive beard – and his activities in it would have onscreen mumMarie reaching for the smelling salts.

It’s all a far cry from his family-friendly comedy show, Everyone Loves Raymond, which ran for what seemed like forever – and his work as Manny the woolly mammoth in the Ice Age movies.

It can only be a good thing for actors to have variety in their work.

In Vinyl Ray is in equally illustrious company – Bobby Canavale who plays record company boss Richie Finestra – cropped up in the remake of the kids’ musical Annie last year.

In this new drama there was lots of stuff going on you would not want children to see.

And although it has been widely lauded by critics, I actually thought it was a bit slow to get going.

Although with Martin Scorsese on board, it was beautifully directed.