Gina McKee enjoying some comic relief

Gina McKee has admitted playing bubbly mum Pauline in new BBC sitcom Hebburn has been a welcome change to some of her more serious roles.

The Notting Hill star – who was most recently seen playing a corrupt businesswoman in police thriller Line Of Duty – stars with Jim Moir, Kimbeley Nixon and comedians Chris Ramsey and Jason Cook in the show directed by Gavin And Stacey’s Chris Gernon.

Gina said: “Pauline is the antidote to a few characters that I’ve been playing recently, so that was very appealing.

“You think it’s time for a change or it’s time to frighten myself. Just so you don’t find yourself in a comfortable cul-de-sac.”

Hebburn is written by Jason and inspired by his own family and hometown. The show sees Jack take his new girlfriend Sarah back to meet his family and try to work out how to tell them they have got married in secret.

Gina admits she was concerned initially about playing a character based on her co-star’s mother, but Jason soon set her mind at rest.

She said: “I’m told that Pauline is based on Jason’s mother, but having seen a little bit of Jason’s mother, on a tiny, tiny bit of film and then met her very, very briefly, I’m not entirely sure. I think the spirit of her might be there, but it isn’t by any means an impersonation of her.”

And Jason insists his mother doesn’t mind being the subject of comedy.

“To be honest she’s more blown away by Gina Mckee. She says, ‘Ooh Gina’s very glamorous, Jason, that’s not me, that’s not me at all’.”

Hebburn beings on BBC Two on Thursday, October 18

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