Comedian and actor Jack Dee, reveals how a TV obsession inspired his latest creation, ITV sitcom Bad Move, in which he stars with actor and fellow comedian, Kerry Godliman

Comedian and actor Jack Dee, has given TV Times an interview about how a TV obsession inspired his latest creation, Bad Move, which he stars in with actor and fellow comedian, Kerry Godliman

What’s the story?

The grass isn’t always greener in the countryside as Jack Dee’s latest sitcom shows! Here the actor and comedian tells us about the inspiration behind his  ITV creation Bad Move in which he stars with fellow actor and comedian, Kerry Godliman (Derek, Extras, Our Girl), and which follows the trials and tribulations of a couple who bitterly regret packing up their urban lifestyle for a new start in the sticks….

Here’s Jack Dee’s interview with TV Times

TVT: Tell us about your character Steve …

JD: “Steve is a web designer, his wife Nicky played by Kerry Godliman, is a landscape gardener and they were living quite a metropolitan lifestyle in Leeds. But this is their second marriage so they wanted to clear the cobwebs and make a fresh start.”

Nicky [Kerry Godliman] and Steve [Jack Dee) soon realise their country idyll is a money-sinking pit!

TVT: So why does the move to rural Yorkshire turn out to be a “bad move”?

JD: “They became caught up in this idea that if they wanted to change something, they should do it geographically. But after moving, they quickly ran out of money and found they couldn’t afford to do up their new house the way they wanted. So they’re trapped in this place that they can’t afford to do up or sell. They’ve also got grown-up kids who don’t want to visit because there’s no internet.”

TVT: What are their first impressions of country life?

JD: “Steve and Nicky are like square pegs in a round hole. They thought the grass would be greener on the other side of the fence – until they jumped over the fence and realised it’s an algae-covered, stagnant pond of sludge!”

Steve soon begins to think  life in the sticks is rubbish!

TVT: What kind of characters do they encounter?

JD: “Nicky’s dad Ken [Philip Jackson] lives nearby, but he’s brilliantly disapproving of Steve and prefers Nicky’s first husband. They’ve also got annoyingly perfect neighbours Matt [Miles Jupp] and Meena [Manjinder Virk], who have the made a similar move but they’re living the good life, making bread, jams, honey and god knows what. They’re the worst people to be constantly confronted with. Plus, there’s a lovely old lady called Alice, who always manipulates Nicky into doing jobs for her. She’s played by 92-year-old Thelma Ruby, who has been in entertainment since the end of World War Two. She’s brilliant!”

Meet the well-meaning neighbours from hell!  Pictured: Meena [Manjinder Virk], Matt [Miles Jupp], Nicky [Kerry Godliman] and Steve [Jack Dee].

Nicky befriends pensioner Alice who quickly has her wrapped around her little finger

TVT: What’s the inspiration behind the show?

JD: “I wrote it with Pete Sinclair, who I’ve worked with for years, but the idea came from endlessly watching episodes of Escape To The  Country. I became a bit obsessed with it! They never show anything other than a happy ending, though, and I don’t believe that. I also noticed that the movers are often on their second marriage and I thought it was interesting how people think they can change themselves by changing where they are.”

TVT: Did you enjoy filming in rural Yorkshire?

JD: “We stayed in Guisborough and Harrogate, which are lovely places, and my wife Susan came to visit so we drove around exploring. The locations were stunning and provided great dramatic backdrops.”

TVT: So would you consider escaping to the country yourself?

JD: “My wife and I talk about it and our kids are at university now. However, the house we were filming at was so remote, and we had real trouble getting trucks and equipment up there. The owners said they don’t even go up there in the winter because the weather is horizontal. It sounds hopeless!”

Bad Move starts this Wednesday on ITV at 8pm