In The Club’s Taj Atwal: ‘Everything that happens with the twins has made Jas and Dev stronger!’

After a traumatic pregnancy, Jasmin goes into early labour in next week’s final part of In The Club. After all she’s been through, will the expectant mum deliver two healthy twins? Taj Atwal teases what’s to come…

Heavily pregnant with twins, Jasmin learned at the beginning of this series that she had a condition called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, where one twin ‘donates’ blood to the other in the womb. How did you and co-star Sacha Dhawan (who plays Taj’s on-screen husband Dev) feel about tackling the storyline?
“It was really scary actually, we were quite nervous. I’d been doing lots of research on women who were expecting twins so quickly after having had a baby – women who were absolutely terrified of just having twins without anything else! So there was a lot of pressure on us – we hope we’ve done the story justice!”

Jas was told about a pioneering new laser treatment that could stop the flow of blood from one twin to the other – but this procedure carried the risk that she could lose both babies! How did Jas cope with having to make such an agonising decision?
“Jas was petrified. Although Dev was trying to support her, it was really nobody else’s decision but hers. There were moments where Jas felt very much on her own, battling with the terrifying choices she had to make for her babies.”


Jasmin has had a very traumatic pregnancy

Jas and Dev’s overbearing mothers have been on hand to help with their young daughter Amber while Jas has been going through her difficult pregnancy. But have they been a help – or a hindrance?
“Dev’s mum wants to take control but Jas’s mum also wants to take control – both want to have their say on how to raise Amber. So it’s quite a struggle for them to find their own parenting skills. Mina Anwar, who plays my mum in the show, is a lot like my own mum, and has quite a modern approach to things. I think she’s there, in the story, for Jas’s support… and to make sure Dev’s mum doesn’t get involved too much!”

This week, Jas and Dev are busy preparing for Amber’s Hindu naming ceremony. Were you pleased Kay had written this into the script?
“Yeah, because obviously both Sacha and myself ARE Indian, so we thought this would add more realism to the story. I don’t think viewers will ever have seen a Hindu naming ceremony on TV before, so hopefully it will be quite eye-opening for them.”

The couple’s plans go awry, however, when Jas goes into early labour. In hospital, Jas gives birth to a healthy baby boy – but it looks like the other twin could be in danger. How will Jas and Dev cope if one of their twins doesn’t survive?
“Everything that happens with the twins has solidified Jas and Dev’s relationship and they’ve become stronger. They seem more ‘together’ this time round – they don’t need to show each other affection all the time; they just know they’re there for each other.”


Jasmin with husband Dev (Sacha Dhawan)

How did you feel about wearing the ‘bump’ again for this second series?
“Weirdly, this year it’s been fine. Last year, I was freaked out with it all but as soon as I put it on this time I felt normal again. You do start acting pregnant and people treat you like you really ARE pregnant. Once, one of the directors asked: ‘Do you want some water? I’ll get that for you!’”

Has playing Jas made you broody – or put you off having kids?
“Oh, the girl who plays Amber really is the most beautiful little girl, who cuddles up to you, so I have fallen in love with a child that’s not even my own! Last year REALLY put me off having kids but this year’s completely different.”

Why did it put you off last year?
“Just with Jas’s preeclampsia storyline and just finding out what it’s really like to be pregnant. It’s not all sweetness and roses, you know, it’s painful and it hurts! My birth scene last year took 10 hours to film… and that’s probably not even a quarter of what an actual labour would be like!”

What feedback have you had about the show from people out and about?
“We were really lucky last year. People seemed to love our characters and would say they could really relate to them, especially with how Jas acts towards Dev. People said they were really funny and felt real. And so many men on Twitter said their friends would be calling them soft for watching the show and they’d be like: ‘No, honestly, watch it, watch it, I’ve been watching it with my missus!’.”

In The Club continues on Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC1.

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