Sarah Parish discovers her funny bone: ‘I just want to do funny stuff now’

Sarah Parish has revealed that working on Twenty Twelve sequel W1A has given her a taste for comedy.

The BBC2 sitcom follows the inner workings of the BBC where Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville), Twenty Twelve’s stoic Head of the fictional Olympics Deliverance Commission, has been brought in to redefine the purpose of the corporation.

The series, which begins on Wednesday, March 19 at 10pm, sees Sarah play Anna Rampton, the ambitious but inept Head of Output at the Beeb. The actress jumped at the chance to play it for laughs following her more sombre recent roles as the sinister Pasiphae in Atlantis, the ill-fated Margaret in 60s medical drama Breathless, and the murderous Regan in The Pillars of the Earth.

“I said to my agent a while ago that I would really like to do something on telly where I crack a smile because I have been an evil queen and a medieval murderer and everything has been dour,” she tells TV & Satellite Week.

“So when W1A came along I thought, ‘I have got to get this’, because I knew it would be really good for me to just mix with comedy people because they are a totally different group and it would be a different experience. Of course Anna Rampton has turned out to be a really miserable character so I don’t get to crack a smile, but I really love it and it is going to be really hard to go back to drama now. I just want to do funny stuff.”

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