Comedienne Sally Phillips stars in Sky1’s new sitcom Parents (Friday, July 6) as a high flying banker who’s lost her job and her house and has to move back home…
Tell us about your character Jenny in Parents…
“Jenny was the child her parents were really proud of. She got a business degree, was working for a bank, doing really well and lived in a big house in west London with her husband Nick and two kids. But then she suffered the massive humiliation of being sacked. She couldn’t keep up the mortgage repayments and had no savings so her house has been repossessed.”
Why did she lose her job?
“She had a fight in the office! The funny thing is, she found out she’s actually quite good at fighting which is as much a surprise to her as anyone! She thinks she’s going to get another job really quickly, but obviously she can’t tell anyone why she left her previous job. Plus, there’s been a recession. So she has to move her family to Kettering to stay with her parents Len (Tom Conti) and Alma (Susie Blake).”
Presumably she’s not happy about having to move back in with her parents?
“Well, it is embarrassing, but there is that safety net of going home and I’ve certainly had that with my own family. The trouble is, you can never be a grown up when you’re at your parents’ house. You’re always their child no matter how old you are. Plus, her mother doesn’t believe she’ll get another job and that’s infuriating her!”
What are the living arrangements like?
“It’s a bit cramped. Jenny and Nick have to share a bedroom with Len’s exercise bike and the teenage kids have to share a bunk bed! Nick doesn’t have a job but describes himself as an entrepreneur, which doesn’t impress Len.”
What attracted you to the role?
“The show is very well written and there are at least three minutes every episode where you get to be an absolute fool. But it’s also quite a moral piece. It questions what they’ve actually lost? OK, they had a posh house in Westbourne Grove and wore designer clothes, but their friends were totally vacuous! It’s good to know that whatever happens, there’s always the safety net of going home to your parents’ where everything is familiar.”