The Thick of It's Rebecca Front tells TV Times about teaming up with Happy Valley actress Siobhan Finneran to a star in a new BBC comedy full of dark humour...

Rebecca Front on how her new sitcom, The Other One, finds lots of comedy in a whole heap of tragedy…

Bereavement isn’t exactly something to laugh about but it’s the source of much hilarity in new BBC comedy pilot, The Other One, which starts on Wednesday 13th September.

Starring Benidorm’s Siobhan Finneran (who’s joined the Cold Feet cast), The Thick of It’s Rebecca Front, Misfits actress Lauren Socha and comic Ellie White, the one-off comedy tells the story of a girl called Catherine Walcott. And another girl called Catherine Walcott – sisters who had no idea the other existed until their father dies suddenly of a heart attack!

On the surface, Cathy (Ellie) and Cat (Lauren) are worlds apart – but can they find any common ground? Here, Rebecca Front – who plays Cathy’s mum Tess – tells TV Times more…

TV Times: Bereavement is a difficult subject to make funny. Why does The Other One work do you think?

Rebecca Front: “Birth, death, marriage and divorce come up again and again in comedy because these are things that everybody goes through. But what’s so brilliant about this show is when everyone finds out the deceased was a bigamist! So there are two taboos: there’s death, which everybody goes through but nobody wants to talk about, then there’s bigamy, which nobody ever has to go through and NEVER wants to talk about!”

The Other One Siobhan Finneran Lauren Socha

Tess and daughter Cathy are stunned when they meet Marilyn (Siobhan Finneran) and daughter Cat (Lauren Socha)

TVT: The focus of the story is on Cathy and Cat – two sisters who never knew the other existed. And when they meet, it’s clear they’re VERY different…

RF: “It’s often said that British comedy is obsessed with class and, of course, there’s an element of ‘class’ in this comedy but I think that’s just an initial pointer; nobody’s better or worse, they just are who they are. They’re just two girls who have lost their dad – and their mums are two women who have been cheated on by a man. Some of the scenes between Cathy and Cat are so touching; I’m always very drawn to that point where comedy meets drama, which this show does.”

TVT: Your character, Tess, is very different to Cat’s mum, Marilyn, played by Siobhan Finneran. Would you like more scenes together if this comedy pilot was picked up for a full series?

RF: “Definitely. I think it’s right that in this one they don’t have any conversation at all but there’s so much that you’ll want to know about that relationship, so I’d love to do more with her if it went to a series. I hadn’t met Siobhan before filming but we got on really well, she’s just so funny!”

 

The Other One Marilyn Cat Cathy Tess

TVT: Your character, Tess, deals with her grief by going straight back out on the dating scene and having a dalliance in a car with a handsome stranger, played by Neil Pearson…

RF: “Neil and I found that scene hysterically funny; we were actually weeping with laughter, mainly because it is very difficult to ‘do it’ in a car, even quite a spacious one like a Ford Kia. I think we focused so much on how the scene would play out, how drunk my character was and how up for the whole thing he was that we hadn’t quite allowed for the handbrake!”

The Other One can be seen on Wednesday September 13 at 10pm on BBC2.