Interview: Jon Richardson And Lucy Beaumont On The New Series Of Meet The Richardsons

Interview: Jon Richardson And Lucy Beaumont On The New Series Of Meet The Richardson

How chuffed were you to get a third series?

Jon: We still can't believe we got away with the second series. We filmed it through lockdown but it looked just like a normal series, even though we took precautions. So the third series was a breeze; we could go anywhere and do anything. The gloves were off. We've got the new house, new location, new people and it’s re-energised it.

Why do you think it's so popular?

Lucy: We really try to just go for laughs. We never wanted to go serious or start talking about our marriage. We’ve kept it silly. When we first did publicity for it, we said it's a documentary. We can be honest now, it's a sitcom. It's written but so much is real in it.

J: There’s a movement towards overt discussions of problems, and then there's the very traditional British view that that's all just beneath the surface. You can see what all our issues are, but we carry on as if nothing's happening. I think people like that sense of pent up misery and fear that we have. It's edited so the couch scenes go on for days. It's staggering how long we can sit on a couch and argue. But there are no lengthy scenes or playing the awkward silence - it's just a setup and a gag, and then we move on.

How much of it is scripted?

L: I usually write notes of real things that have happened whether in the house or at work Then Tim (Reid) and I look at how we can make them into storylines. So half is real and half engineered.

J: For the start of the new series we see Lucy on Pointless - you couldn’t script that. But then we take the story from there. L: Our producer was worried there wasn't enough mileage in us but now he thinks we're alright. It could run and run. Luckily Jon’s personality is so fitted to a sitcom because he's deeply flawed and has no awareness that he is.

What are the main changes since the last series?

L: We’ve moved, which I was really worried about because people really liked Hebden Bridge and the Dog and Bastard. Plus we’ve moved to a big shiny vulgar modern, like a WAG footballer’s house, so it’s not as endearing. But luckily it's lifted it.

J: It’s put us on the back foot. We've gone from being the powerful ones in the valley to somewhere where the neighbours are taller and richer than us, and don't know who we are.

Did you actually move to London?

J: No. We will do at some point because Lucy wants to and I can only win for a certain amount of time.

Why Leeds?

L: We were very cut off where we were and we were getting excited about going to garden centres. It’d take us eight hours round trip to get to London and although it was idyllic, we were thinking where we want to be potentially for the next 15-20 years. Leeds has everything; I don't think you can outgrow it. I was starting to wear Crocs and we had no sex life.

J: Now we have no sex life but she’s wearing different shoes. It has footballers too. We’re next to Kalvin Phillips (of Leeds FC) who I try to do a podcast with but never succeed. Your old neighbours are obviously sad about you moving…

J: Emma and Damion were our real neighbours, not actors, and one of my favourite scenes is when they meet the new neighbours and see the new house. You know exactly how they feel about it. Damion's like an amazing Hollywood actor because he's just being himself. He thought the house was a bit big, posh and pompous, and it comes across in the way he reaches across for a salt and vinegar crisp.

L: My mum Gill's got better and better at being herself, too. We've been lucky we haven't had to use many actors.

Have you used many in this series? Like your new ‘sex badger’ neighbours?

L: They're actors. But they quickly thought they were real. When my mum met them she nearly punched them. We forgot to tell her they were actors and she was really struggling with how mean they were. We had to calm her down and start again. She really thought Sally Phillips had taken Jon's documentary idea too, and was so angry with her.

J: All of this series is building towards Gill and Johnny Vegas’s wedding. And the culmination of it all is one of our most engineered scenes. I was really tense that day of filming because of all we had to do. But it's a perfect scene.

Meet The Richardsons, Thursday 3rd March at 10pm on Dave.


Interview supplied by UKTV



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