Interviews With The Cast Of Here We Go

Interviews With The Cast Of Here We Go

The second series of Here We Go starts on Friday, February 2 at 8pm on BBC One. That's a very prime time slot for this quirky domestic comedy written by Tom Basden and starring Katherine Parkinson, Jim Howick of Ghosts and Alison Steadman from all sorts of classic comedies including Gavin and Stacey. With a pedigree like this it has to be good, but can it fill that Ghosts-shaped hole in the schedule? The BBC must be confident, a third series is already planned. The cast talk about the new series below. 

Alison Steadman – Sue Jessop


What should audiences expect from the new series?


Alison: A lot of fun and a lot of warmth. There's a whole list of extremely talented and funny actors who appear in each episode so, it's not just us lot, you’ve got lots to look forward to. 


And what can we expect from your character Sue?


Alison: Sue is Sue, she’s over the top, she likes to be in charge and she likes to take over, but not in a horrible way. It's just in her nature that she likes to organise, so if she sees a little flaw in anything, she’ll go “Ooh, I can sort that. I can solve that problem.”

She actually moves in with her son, Paul and daughter-in-law and she's only meant to be there temporarily, but she decides that if they're all busy working she can sort things out. So, she starts moving stuff around and everyone’s going “Where’s the teacups?” “Oh, they’re up there now, they’re at the top.” It’s just good fun.


Are there any aspects of Sue's character that you relate to personally?


Alison: She’s pretty different to me, but I can relate to her, I've got two sons and I love them dearly so I can relate to her love of her grandchildren and the love that she has for her son. What drew me to the role of Sue, was that as soon as I got the scripts, I could hear the character’s voice. I knew what she was going to sound like and what I wanted it to sound like.


Do you have a favourite scene at all from this upcoming series? 


Alison: The boat scene in episode one is funny. This boat is ancient, this is from when Paul was about 12 or something and it's all rusty and it’s not worth it, but Paul says “Oh no, I can fix it” because he's got happy memories of going out on it with his dad, years ago. And so we get it all set up and get it in the water and, of course, it's not going right. He can't get the engine going and he falls in the water trying to pull the cord, it’s very funny, it’s hilarious.


I hear you get to go off-script. Is that always fun to do?


Alison: It's fun to do. I mean, you don't normally get that. But after all the takes we do, and then they say “Okay, we're going to have one more go,” you’re on your knees and you think I can't do this again, but it means that you can do pretty much whatever you like, which is nice because you don’t normally get that.


What's the chemistry like on set?


Alison: We all get on really well together and I think because the scripts are such good scripts and it's got warmth and comedy in it, I think that creates a nice atmosphere. We all just kind of flow with that, you know? 



What do you think it is about the series that appeals so much to viewers?


Alison: I think the fact that it’s a family. And the warmth, it's got a lot of warmth. Obviously, the comedy stuff is really clever. I think also each episode takes you by surprise. You think, “Oh, I didn't see that coming.” Yeah, so it's got a lovely warm, comedy feel to it. Really nice. 


Series one had a really good reaction from audiences and we have a series three confirmed. Did you ever have any idea it would be so successful? 


Alison: I mean, when you're doing a pilot, you just never know. Obviously, I did it because I really liked it when I read it, I wanted to do it and thought that it had a good feeling to it. It’s got legs. But you never dream it’ll go to three series. You’re just working in the moment but I’m not surprised at all I have to say.


Jim Howick – Paul Jessop


What should audiences expect from the new series?


Jim: Well, the new series finds Paul and Rachel pursuing their dreams. Paul is in training to become a police officer and Rachel has enrolled at university, and so is confronting the difficulties and the perceptions of a mature student. Paul is getting to grips with his police training, making friends and trying to impose a newfound authority on the family when he can, which is of course is undermined immediately.


Are there any aspects of Paul that you relate to at all?


Jim: Loads. I honestly feel like Tom has bugged my house. We saw in the Christmas special that Paul believes that children shouldn't dress as Ironman and Spiderman at Halloween and that is something that I believe as well. Halloween should be strictly reserved for ghouls and creatures of the night! You can't dress up as a banana or a sexy banana on Halloween. I’m also a barbecue lover. I'm afraid to say I have a number of different barbecues, I have a big green egg which Paul covets.


He wrote the Green Egg in to the series because you had one?


Jim: You’d have to ask Tom that. The fact that I bored everyone senseless about it in the first series probably means Tom put it into the Christmas special. So yeah, Paul is morphing into me. Or vice versa. I cook Christmas dinner on the Egg. I have a rotisserie. I go to town.


Do you have a favourite scene that you filmed from the upcoming series?


Jim: Yes, definitely and for a number of reasons. Firstly because I'm sat down throughout the scene. Secondly because I eat crisps throughout the scene and thirdly I can pretend that I like football and I've sort of discovered that there's nothing funnier than pretending that you like something you loathe in a scene. Acting on top of acting. Especially football, because I think football sort of encourages an alpha- ism in most men. And you either duck out of that, avoid the subject completely and dislike people that like football or if you're Paul and you desperately need your work friends to like you to climb the ladder, then you have to pretend to like football and the people that like it. And honestly, it was the most fun thing in the series for me.

We were also working with Sophie Wu on that and Andrew Brooke, some excellent guest stars and we just had a really, really fun afternoon.


I hear that you get to do a fun pass. Is that always fun to do?


Jim: It is fun to do. Often it's the fun pass, or at least elements of it that make the cut. Certainly, in the scenes where there's a lot of us in the room, you can light a fire under the scene when you introduce a slightly different performance or choice, something that you haven't done before, it can really help freshen a scene you’ve been performing all morning.



What do you think it is about the series that appeals so much to viewers?


Jim: I think the series tackles a kind of broad spectrum of issues that most families experience. Whether it's the awkwardness of the sex chat, or the drugs chat, or an injury of some kind or a catastrophe in the kitchen or public humiliation and what Tom does so well, is deftly magnify and exaggerate these familiar incidents, that are so relatable to audience and make them entertaining and funny.


Is there good chemistry between you all on set?


Jim: Yeah, absolutely. I think within a minute of being in the house we seem to morph into our roles. I mean, Tom is playing Robin and Tom is, it's fair to say, a bit brighter than Robin. Obviously, his role is slightly different, because he is in front and behind the camera and so he has a responsibility on both sides of the camera. But the rest of us sort of morph into our natural family dynamic quite quickly. We get on really well and we’re genuinely very fond of each other. It’s a really nice vibe.


It has had a really good reaction from audiences and obviously, we've got a series three confirmed, did you have any idea when you did the pilot that it would be so successful?


Jim: I knew that the calibre of the performers was the most prestigious I have ever piloted a show with. Working with the likes of Alison Steadman, who is a cast iron national treasure and genius. Katherine has a long-standing pedigree in British comedy and is the most down to earth, self-deprecating and funny person. They’re both so wonderful to work with, have such an incredible sense of humour and are so game. No, you never know if the show's going to be a success, that's not up to you but the pedigree of the people I was working with, certainly gave me enormous confidence.



Katherine Parkinson – Rachel Jessop


What’s in store for your character?


Katherine: Rachel’s going back to university, she tries to impress her course mates by inviting them round to play a drinking game, but they’re millennials and don’t drink, so Rachel naturally gets hammered and its just awful. She’s also heard that they’ll be impressed by tapes, so she puts Simply Red on. I had this funky fish jacket, I love 90’s t-shirt and space buns. All whilst Paul is in the background with an ear wax problem.  


Do you enjoy playing Rachel? 


Katherine: There’s a formula for the family sitcom with it being the Mum who’s driving everything. But then I think Rachel also has moments where she becomes unstuck in a similar way to Paul where she sort of tries to get out of something and gets into trouble, or she’s pretending to be something she’s not like with the Italian in series one. So, it means I think I get to play the lifesaver and the opposite, and that’s really good. I appreciate it. So yeah, I like playing her very much.


Are you similar to Rachel in any way?


Katherine: Well, you know, I don’t think I’m as neurotic and chaotic as Rachel, but then when I actually say it out loud, and especially when I can hear my husband laughing in the other room, I don’t know, maybe I am a little bit. I feel like I'm probably a toxic mix of neurotic and laid back. I think if anything, my parents, and I hope they wouldn’t mind me saying this, but their relationship, getting married young, like Paul and Rachel is very similar… I grew up perhaps in a similar household to the Jessops – I remember this one occasion we were all on holiday, walking up a mountain and my dad thought he saw a wolf up ahead – we all then had to go on a huge detour, it was farcical, my mum lost a shoe, we were all clambering on a mountain edge it seemed, and then when we finally reached the top, it turned out to be an Alsatian on a lead! It could only happen to my family – or the Jessops.


Is there good chemistry between you all then on set? 


Katherine: We have a family what’s app chat, and actually I think the first thing I put on this year was about my dads ear wax, so yes we all get on really well. Alison is incredible, I grew up watching her – Abigail’s Party, and then I am very grateful to Jim because he does just make other people laugh a lot. I do find it hard to look at him sometimes and have to focus on other people instead, I find him so funny.

Sometimes I get frustrated with “Paul” though, like why don’t you just put the bins out? Tori, I think gets confused between show and real life because she always just says, “you should just leave him, you’re far too good for him”!


What do you think it is about the series that appeals so much to viewers?


Katherine: I think there's been a lot of family sitcoms over the years, and I think sometimes they feel a bit tepid in their humour, sort of quite funny but a bit gentle, I suppose. I feel what  ‘Here We Go’ does, is the humour is quite startling, quite surprising. I’ve never felt it was a cosy show, I think it’s quite dangerous some of the lines. Some of the things are really, really funny. I think sometimes to find things really funny, it has to be surprising and I think that's what Tom does so brilliantly. He takes a formula, and he really runs with it, and then makes original and surprising at the same time.



Tom Basden - Robin


What can audiences expect from series two?


Tom: So series two sees the characters embark on a new stage of their lives and all try their hand at reinventing themselves a little bit. So, at the end of series one, I teased the idea that Paul was going to train to become a policemen and Rachel would go back to university. So in series two both of them are trying to blend in among new groups of people – with, it’s fair to say, mixed results. Also Amy’s disappointed to be back home having had an amazing time in Norway, Sue sells her house and moves in with the family, Robin and Cherry are going to get married and Sam’s doing his GCSEs. Even though everyone’s starting a new chapter, it’s still very much rooted in the characters that we know and love from series one and, despite their efforts to reinvent themselves, they’re still stuck in the same family dynamic together.


What can we expect from Robin this series and can you tease what’s in store for series two? 


Tom: Well, I mean Robin’s main focus is the build-up to his marriage to Cherry, so he’ll obviously have to put a lot of thought into the stag do and the most high-impact, romantic way to propose. Robin’s also Rachel's support blanket a little bit, particularly when she's having to deal with their quite overbearing eldest sister, Penny, played by the brilliant Dolly Wells.


Do you enjoy playing him as a character?


Tom: Yeah, I love playing Robin. I get to sort of channel a lot of the people that I knew growing up. It's mainly helped by the fact that Tori Allen-Martin, who plays Cherry, is so funny and lovely to work with, so we slightly inhabit the characters when we’re on set!


Are there elements of Robin that you relate to as a person or is he very different to you?


Tom: I worry that there are overlaps. After playing Robin for six, seven weeks when we're shooting the show, I definitely turn into him a bit and just find myself kind of muttering inane nonsense. So some of Robin’s, not necessarily worst habits, but certainly his least cool attributes have probably rubbed off on me sadly.


What was your favourite scene to film from series two?


Tom: I mean, in truth some of my favourite scenes to actually perform are the ones where we're at home and it will be a very long scene and the camera’s moving around and getting everyone and there's different conversations happening. There's usually at least one scene like this in every episode, and those are the ones where we really get to kind of play around and have fun and really just create that really naturalistic family dynamic. Those scenes are a huge amount of fun. Everything around the street fair, where Robin and Dean have got an ice cream business was brilliant fun too. And the episode where we go on the Stag Do and fall asleep in the hot tub was a bit like being on holiday. So, there were individual days where we all really enjoyed ourselves but from a performance side, it's all the stuff in the house that’s my favourite. 


Do you ever go off script and add new things in? 


Tom: Yeah, a little bit. Certainly we all get to the point after a few takes where we'll start adding stuff and trying things out. You don't have a huge amount of time when you're doing it so you have to be quite controlled. You can't sort of derail the scene and just start chucking random ideas in. But I think, yeah, generally the way that we shoot the show, with one camera following us around from Sam's point of view, means that we can all play around quite a lot and try out new lines and find what feels like the best, most natural way through the scene. So, we do have a lot of leeway and we do take the scenes to quite silly places sometimes. Which is not always for the best, I won't lie to you. But sometimes it does give you some of the funniest stuff. 


What do you think it is that appeals so much to viewers about the show and sets it apart from other sitcoms?


Tom: I hope what resonates with people about the show is that the characters are all really recognisable. And that it really does feel like you're spending time with this family. I think the way that we've shot it, having the youngest son Sam as the cameraman, following everyone around, talking to everybody, gives it a directness and realism that is very hard to create. You really do feel like this stuff is all happening, and that this is a real family. And we’re quite meticulous about what the house looks like and how they dress it, how much rubbish there is in the footwell of the car, that kind of thing. So, it doesn't feel like glossy TV where everything is a bit too clean, and everyone just looks a bit too good. We want it to feel very true so that viewers really buy into the world of it and recognise these characters.


What's the chemistry like on set between the cast? 


Tom: Its brilliant. I spend a lot of time on set reflecting on just how funny and lovely they all are. I mean, the thing about working with people who've spent a long time doing comedy is that they really don't take themselves seriously and that's one thing that I just adore about this group of people. We all muck about and we all know that we've got the freedom to try things out and to surprise each other and no one will be thrown by that. We do feel a bit like a family by the end of it. 


How does it feel to be able to do series three as well?


Tom: Oh, it’s fantastic, because it also allows you to plan for the future with the show and put storylines in motion. I won't give any away now but there are certain things that we introduced in series two that are going to come to fruition in series three. 


If you had to sum up series two in one or two sentences, how would you do that?


Tom: I would say series two is everything that you loved about series one, but opening up the world a bit more. So, seeing the characters in different places, meeting new people, trying their hand at new things and generally failing to achieve anything and realising that they were happy where they were all along.


Were there any specific challenges writing the second series?


Tom: To be honest with you, the thing that's really hard is always the very start, when you’re faced with six or seven episodes you have to write, and you're just staring at your computer and don't know where to begin. With maybe a few ideas written on a napkin. I think it's true about everything that you write, but that's always the really hard bit. Because a lot of it is based on my own family, or people I know or things that have happened to me, I can often find things that feel like they would happen to the Jessops by going through people and events from my own life. So it's definitely not easy, finding a way to make all the different storylines interact but if you've got funny ideas and funny characters at the heart of it then certainly it makes it a lot easier.


And when you found out the show was going to be recommissioned what were your immediate ambitions for series two? And do you think you've accomplished them? 


Tom: I was very proud of series one and I felt like we'd really delivered on what we'd set out to do after the pilot in terms of making it feel like a really original and funny world for a sitcom. So my main thought/anxiety was just not to screw it up really. Coming back, the main thing you don't want to avoid is to disappoint people in some way and make them feel like it had already peaked. But I'm feeling very, very positive about series two. I feel like everything is funnier and fresher and the storylines are, a bit more absurd, a bit more rewarding. So, I feel like it's developed really nicely while maintaining what I loved about the first series. 


And can you tell us a little bit about some of the guest stars you've got on the show for series two?


Tom: So Harry Enfield plays Sue's kind of frenemy in the neighbourhood, Edgar, who she organises the street fair with, Simon Farnaby and Dolly Wells playing Rachel's sister and brother-in-law and Andrew Brooke and Sophie Wu play police officers that Paul is trying to butter up by pretending to be good at football. So, there's lots of fantastic guest stars in this series who just came on board and really embraced the spirit of the show. Dean, played by Ed Kear, is back and Robin’s other friend Jelson, played by Jon Furlong, is a hilarious addition to the cast. So I'm really delighted with all of the people that we've had join us.


Can you share anything at this stage about what we might expect from series three? 


Tom: So, without giving too much away, by the end of series two Paul graduates from his police training course so series three will see him start work, which I’m quite excited about. Amy's interest in music is reignited at the end of series two, and she's going to invest in that and start trying to play some gig. Sam might finally have a girlfriend and not be so unsuccessful in his love life. And there's big news for Robin and Cherry as well which means big changes for them in series 3.


Freya Parks – Amy Jessop


What can audiences expect from the new series?


Freya: More of the madness and chaos, but I think there are more connections between specific family members. I feel like Amy's relationship with her dad is more sort of manic but loving, they tease each other a lot more in this series, which I really enjoyed doing with Jim because he’s so funny. There are some quite big life events for certain characters and some Freaky Friday moments with Amy’s mum. We also go camping in one episode and that was really fun! 


What's in store for your character, Amy?


Freya: Amy’s just got back from Norway and she's struggling with being back at home and there are certain things where she just cannot believe that her family is still like this. She's so embarrassed by them. She feels like she's really gone on a journey and become a new woman but actually, then, what she realises is that, they’re her family and she loves them because of the chaos. So, there's a big acceptance, I think she kind of gets her comeuppance, I think a bit, because she can be quite bloody miserable and very rude to her family. But she gets put in her place this time and you're like, “Okay, now you've got to grow up and learn that it's not all about you.”


Is it fun to play her?


Freya: It is fun to play her. I feel like I'm tapping into a younger version of myself when I was having a bratty moment when I was 15, despite her being older than that, because she is quite a young 21-year-old. She has some really cutting lines, that are brilliantly written by Tom and just the perfect tone for Amy as a character, and I do quite enjoy saying those lines and not getting into trouble because I’m just playing a character. I do feel quite harsh sometimes and feel the need to apologise to Katherine or Jim! There is also, however a vulnerability to Amy that we get to see more of and I loved finding those moments to reveal that sensitivity within her, throughout the episodes.


What's it like on set, is there good chemistry between you all? 


Freya: There's a lot of chemistry. When we did the pilot, we didn’t really know what it was going to turn into, but we felt like it was something special and exciting. It's such a brilliant cast and I have so much respect for all of them and have watched all of them on telly growing up. Me, Mica and Jude were just in awe of all of them - they're like a sort of lovely step-family, an alternative family to my own and I think everyone found that. We do have a group chat and send in funny photos and videos and silly things, so we really do have a good connection.


You’ve got some big names and special guests in this series like Simon Farnaby and Harry Enfield. What’s it like working with them?


Freya: Oh, it was amazing, and testament to Tom's writing I think. I mean getting tapped on the head, which is a funny thing that Simon's (Farnaby) character does, I just felt honoured, even though Amy hated it. He plays our uncle, and then Dolly Wells, who is a legend, plays our aunt, and I just think that's perfect casting. We were all so excited to find out who the sister of Rachel and Robin was going to be, and we all had our guesses. So, when we heard it was Dolly Wells it just made so much sense, she's really brilliant. 


Do you have a favourite scene from the forthcoming series?


Freya: Episode One - all the boat stuff was just hilarious and just so chaotic. Me and Jude (Sam) also got to play around with a Super 8 camera which was so cool, we had a lot of fun with that – I think that’s another great thing about this show, is that they’re not afraid to play around and come up with clever ideas on how to film the show, and I think the look and feel that the Super 8 camera will give, will be quite exciting.  


Do you get to improvise a lot on set?


Freya: We stay on script most of the time but then when our Director feels like he’s got the take, we do this thing called the Fun Pass. That's when whatever you've been wanting to say, whatever little gags you've been thinking of or just silly little remarks, you can throw them in. It’s so much fun. I think this time around, compared to the first series, there was a lot more freedom with adding things in. I mean Tom's writing is so brilliant so you don't want to take away from that because his rhythm is so spot on, but once you've got that rhythm and we've all gelled as a group and we've found the beats, there's then room to play. 


What do you enjoy most about being part of Here We Go?


Freya: I think it's just brilliantly written in that kind of wonderful British comedy rhythm that we all know and love, but there's something fresh and new about it that Tom's just managed to capture. I think it's got something for everyone in it because it involves every member of the family, every generation. It's just brilliant. Tom is very good at observing people and listening. There are many times where I've gone “This has literally happened to me in my own life. How do you know that about me, Tom? I've never told you about that.” So, he's just very observant and brilliant. 



Tori Allen-Martin - Cherry


What should audiences expect from the new series?


Tori: More of the Jessops getting themselves into ridiculous scenarios- just wonderfully ordinary people in extraordinary situations and environments, all with big laughs and a massive heart. I think season 2 is even more fun than season 1! 


What's in store for your character?


Tori: Cherry becomes much more integrated with the Jessops this series and gets ample opportunity to dress up and show off, so she’s in her element. She’s more herself than ever as she gets more comfortable around the family - more unapologetically Cherry than ever before and actually growing in confidence if you can believe it! 


Is it fun to play Cherry? Is it fun to play a part so totally away from your normal character?


Tori: Yeah, Cherry is the most fun part I've ever played by a longshot and as a recovering people pleaser, she's so far away from me that to step into her shoes is very empowering - to be so unafraid, and to be completely authentic, even if it ruffles a few feathers. So, she's an absolute gift. She's the gift that keeps on giving really because whatever scenario you put Cherry in you can guarantee she's going to have an opinion, a side-eye, or a tantrum, there's never a dull moment when Cherry’s around! I'm always trying to make sure everyone's okay and please them and not offend anyone - so it’s lovely embodying someone who is the polar opposite as Cherry, it is very fun. 


I am always so relieved at the end of the day when I can take the shoes off though. I mean this series they have me in pink, thigh-high stiletto satin boots, running across a football pitch after torrential rain overnight - navigating that was no picnic. Cherry is the most uncomfortable I've ever been in my whole life in those costumes. But our costume designer Rachael Clarke did an amazing job - it was worth it! 


Do you try and take any aspects of her character to bring it into your everyday life?


Tori: Yeah, I'd be careful not to take too much Cherry into my everyday life because I want to keep friends. But I do feel ‘Be More Cherry’ in being authentically yourself and ‘Be More Cherry’ for standing up for what you believe in is a good shout. In series two, I think in episode three, I get to really stick up for Katherine's character Rachel and I adore Katherine and we had so much fun doing the whole girl power thing- really banding together against the boys. So, I think it’s been nice to see that side of Cherry - that she really fights for people that she loves - I love that about her, so definitely ‘Be More Cherry’ that way.


Were there any scenes in series 2 that were your favourites to film, and why?


Tori: I mean, there was so much fun on set. I think in series two we definitely get out and about more, on location, I can’t say too much but episode six in particular was a treat! Very special and a bit emotional actually! My favourite scenes though, are always the ones in the kitchen, I know it sounds boring, but because it tends to be everybody together in those scenes just chilling in the house, it's super fun. But we did get to go to the countryside for an episode and go in a hot tub, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the results of that. But countryside means cows and cow pat – You can imagine how Cherry felt about that. I was delighted though. Couldn’t drag me away from those cows! 


There are some amazing actors guest starring in this series, what was it like to work with them?


Tori: I think what is so nice is seeing that people want to come and work on the show. It's testament to how great Tom's writing is, that we're getting these comedy giants such as Harry Enfield and Simon Farnaby. It’s always an absolute pleasure and privilege to get to watch these comedy legends have fun doing their thing and making their mark on the show. That being said, there are also newer actors, up-and-coming actors who are equally as brilliant and exciting and are also getting such an amazing springboard, because when the writing is that good, it's a dream. I’m so glad that more and more amazing actors are being welcomed into the fold - it’s the best gig. It's fun to see the Jessops interact with other characters because they're such a tightly knit family. When you throw someone else in, it’s like the cat amongst the pigeons, chaos ensues guaranteed.


Is there good chemistry between you all then on set?


Tori: Yeah, there's such good chemistry. We actually auditioned for this in lockdown, I just did a self-tape, so I didn't even have an in-room audition. So, the way that they have managed to get such incredible synergy between everyone is amazing. It’s magic - I think because we are all genuinely friends. We genuinely love each other and that just isn't the case on every job. But I think you can see it here. We are like a family. I honestly feel so lucky to be part of this show and to have made such wonderful friends. 


Do you get to do any improvisation on set?


Tori: We call them fun passes. The more we get to know the characters, the more fun we have because we start to understand their dynamic with each other. We find so much in just messing about, you try something and you find out how someone reacts to you and then you go ‘Oh my god, that's really funny. We should do more of that.’ The closer we get to each other through playing I think the more that comes across on screen. It’s really lovely and very rare, because not many jobs give you that leeway. So, it's a testament to Tom Basden. That his writing is so brilliant that we get so excited riffing off it and around it and that he allows us to. Very rare. But lots of that silliness does make it into the final edit. 


What do you think it is about the series that appeals so much to viewers?


Tori: I think they're relatable. Obviously, they're heightened but I think the observational humour in it is brilliant. It's things people say and it's stuff that happens, like in series one there was a whole thing about a cheque for very small amounts of money being more like an errand. It’s really true, I think there's so much truth in it. I think they're just really well-drawn characters. So, you either resonate with one of them or you know somebody like one of them. It feels really truthful, and half an hour on telly where you can unwind and laugh. We all need a bit of joy right now. 


The series has had an amazing reaction from audiences. Were you surprised?


Tori: When I first got this job, it was a pilot in lockdown and they said at first it wouldn't even necessarily air. So, to have gone from that, to now knowing that we've got a season three - it’s such a gift. There’s so much telly at the moment, which is amazing, but it makes it harder for things to cut through. So, when it does, it's really exciting.  And it allows us to really discover these characters and for audiences to bond with them which just makes a show better - look at shows like Friends that get to run and run and run - they become like extended family to people. I could do this job for years and years I reckon. I genuinely feel so proud of it, if I wasn't in this show I would definitely watch it. I genuinely believe in it and I believe in the cast and the whole crew and production side who make it possible - I hope audiences have as much fun watching it as we had making it. 


Could you sum up the new series in one or two sentences?


Tori: It's a funny, fast-paced, big-hearted romp through ordinary people finding themselves in extraordinary situations.



Jude Morgan-Collie – Sam Jessop


What should audiences expect from the new series?


Jude: I think the usual Jessup shenanigans and a lot of chaos.


What’s in store for your character, Sam?


Jude: A little bit of love - maybe it goes well, maybe it doesn't… you'll have to wait and see. And the usual having to parent his own parents.


Is it fun to play Sam?


Jude: I think it’s really interesting because he’s literally a fly on the wall, and knows everything that’s going on, however I wouldn’t want to follow my own family around constantly!


Is there anything from the upcoming series that you can tease? 


Jude: We had some incredible guest stars - working with Harry Enfield was like a dream come true. I think if you've watched series one, which hopefully everyone has, it obviously leaves it open-ended with the Cherry and Robin story. It’s will they-won't-they, and as much as you might look at them and go, “Oh, God, they're not matched at all.” I think they definitely should be together, but you'll just have to watch to find out.


Did  you have a favourite scene to film from the upcoming series?


Jude: I think almost any scene where Jim has to do something silly.


Is there good chemistry between you all?


Jude: 100%. We've got a family group chat. I have learnt so much sitting and watching these amazing actors and absorbing as much as I can. I spend almost the whole shoot with my jaw just dropped watching them work.


Do you ever get to improvise?


Jude: At the last take of every scene we do a “fun pass”. It's hard to get a word in with people like Ed Kear and Jim and Katherine and Alison when they're just going off and doing these amazing riffs. I'm kind of privileged that I'm behind the camera because I would say I spend half of filming having to cackle in silence.


What do you think it is about the series that appeals so much to viewers?


Jude: I think it’s the relatability. I think that’s key in TV.


Can you sum up the new series in one or two sentences?


Jude: Lots and lots of shenanigans.


Picture Credit: BBC Studios/Frederic Aranda


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