Amanda Redman on Tommy Cooper role: ‘First I laughed, then I cried’

Amanda Redman has said she found it “liberating” to play a less glamorous character in her latest TV drama.

The actress is known for playing sexy characters such as Diana Dors and confident career woman Sandra Pullman in New Tricks, but she wore rollers and body padding to play Tommy Cooper’s wife Gwen in a new ITV drama.

“I’m very vain, so when I watched it back, I thought, ‘Oh Christ! It’s my gran!’,” Amanda confessed. “But then I thought, ‘Get over yourself. Is it right for this?’ And it is, so I got over it.”

And the image-conscious star said it was actually a welcome change.

“It’s so liberating,” said Amanda, 56. “And because she was quite a big lady, I could eat lots more food than I would usually.”

Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This focuses on the dilemma the comedian (played by Shameless actor David Threlfall) faced after falling in love with his assistant Mary Kay (Helen McCrory).

Despite adoring his strong and feisty wife, who he nicknamed ‘Dove’, the fez-wearing funny man embarked on a 17-year affair with Mary, which continued until his untimely death from a heart attack in 1984.

Watching the final cut was an emotional experience for Amanda.

“I found myself laughing a lot, because David is just wonderful as Tommy,” Amanda explained. “And then I was crying. It’s terribly moving, so it’s a fabulous mixture of both.”

Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This, ITV, Monday, April 21

– Press Association