Interviews: The Other One cast

Creator, Director, Writer and Executive Producer Holly Walsh, and Writer and Executive Producer Pippa Brown

“We’re very much picking up where we left off – the new series starts the morning after the night before. After leaving the audience on the cliffhanger of Cathy snogging her brother, we now see the fall out of this massive revelation. Cat and Cathy have understandably different reactions: Cat desperately wants to see her new bro, whilst Cathy struggles to come to terms that she FRENCHIED A SIBLING.

This show has always been a love letter to sisterhood, with Cat and Cathy still trying to work out how to co-exist as family – but now we’re throwing a new brother, Callum, into the mix too. Callum has to get his head around the fact that he’s been living a lie and that his ‘perfect’ family is not all that it seems. And there’s also Callum’s mother Angela – who’s finally had to fess up to the biggest secret of her life: that her son’s father is not who she says it is. All of this is alongside Tess and Marilyn’s gradual acceptance of Colin’s inability to keep his dick in his pants.

This series has been a joy to work on from start to finish and we couldn’t be more excited to be back on the BBC. Our core cast – Ellie White, Lauren Socha, Rebecca Front and Siobhan Finneran – were so funny and collaborative and we couldn’t be more chuffed to have Christopher Jeffers and Michele Austin join the gang. We also welcomed back Amit Shah and Caroline Quentin who were, as ever, brilliant sports and fantastic performers.”

Interviews with all of cast here>

Interview with Ellie White

Cathy (Ellie White), Cat (Lauren Socha)
Cathy (Ellie White), Cat (Lauren Socha)

Ellie tell us a bit about where we find Cathy this series. Series one ended on such a cliff hanger!

At the end of series onr, Cathy is stood up at the altar and decides to go on her honeymoon with her sister instead. She finds herself getting very intimate with – potentially – her brother, which is where we find her in the second series. So she’s got the hangover to end all hangovers and on top of that, she may have just kissed her brother, which is, appalling and shocking to anyone – let alone to Cathy who’s one of the most neurotic, strait-laced people in the world. This is the biggest, wildest and also most horrific thing she’s ever done in her life. We see the fall-out from that and her getting back home and being grounded by the fact that she walks in on the tatters left by her horrible fiancé.

How does Cathy feel about Cat at the moment? Has their relationship changed at all since series one?

I definitely think they are friends now. Despite their differences, they’re friends. Which is really nice. They still don’t get each other fully, but they fill out each other’s blanks. Where Cathy is incredibly repressed, Cat is very straightforward and honest and where Cat is completely unhinged, Cathy is very “right, let’s do the sensible thing here”. They push each other in to areas that the other didn’t think they would ever go. It’s yin and yang. Chalk and cheese! But they’re friends despite all of that. The thing with me and Lauren is that we are chalk and cheese – but we get on so well.

We see a shock brother, Callum, join the fold this series along with his mum Angela. How does that change the dynamic?

The nice thing is that it doesn’t change the dynamic. There’s obviously this new friction. Cat is the most honest, open, open-minded person who is slowly starting to see her family expand, and that to her is one of the most exciting things and it’s a really heartwarming part of the series as well. She’s so excited by meeting me and potentially a new brother and Cathy’s more standoffish. Obviously because she’s snogged him, so she feels shame and embarrassment. That friction is the crux of their relationship in the new series. It adds to our dynamic – it does change the story, but it doesn’t change our narrative.

Is there any part of you that is similar to Cathy? Do you like the character?

Lauren would say that I am Cathy, basically, which is really sad. I definitely think that under pressure I can be like Cathy. I’m a very anxious traveller for instance. I get there like three hours early. I’m also terrible at telling people my inner thoughts. I hope I’m not as uptight and neurotic as her. I don’t know, ask Lauren that question!

Do I like Cathy? I feel bad for her. It’s an excellent, well-observed character. I know so many people like that. The intricacies and the neuroses; it’s so believable. Would she be my friend? Maybe after she’d met Cat and she’d opened up a bit more. Before that, I would struggle. She is annoying and she’s boring, but those are almost the best characters – the ones that have that dry boringness to them because when they’re unravelling, they’re almost more enjoyable than someone who’s a bit looser. I hope in my performance that she isn’t as annoying as she would be if you met her in real life.

We also meet Auntie Dawn, the brilliant Caroline Quentin, this series. What can you tell us about her arrival?

She is mad. And she was in the first series, but this time we go to her house. She is completely unhinged. Where Tess is very stoic and very passive-aggressive middle-class woman, I would say Auntie Dawn is a bundle of joy, and one of those middle-class women who are hilarious and wants to meet everyone and do everything all the time and “ooh everything’s lovely and jolly”, “ooh look at you, aren’t you handsome?!” She has verbal diarrhoea, constantly. And Tess struggles with that. It’s quite nice them having the character difference as well.

Caroline Quentin has always been one of my comedy heroes. In fact, so has Rebecca Front and Siobhan. It’s endlessly joyful to have such incredibly funny women that I’ve looked up to my whole life, not just career, but life. Jonathan Creek was my favourite programme of all time. It was such a dream. She has incredibly beautiful, pointed feet, she used to be a dancer. She has fantastic arches!

It looks like you have a riot on set. How was it filming together? Are there moments where you corpse?

It’s mad. It was full-on this series as we did some night shoots. I’d just had Covid so was absolutely depleted, but it’s endlessly entertaining. Lauren is just so funny as a person. She’s like no one I’ve ever met before. Siobhan is like the cool mum. She’s like my sister really. And she’s so funny. I’d mainly seen her in dramas, she’s such an excellent actress. As a person she’s incredibly funny.

Holly is a comedian and now directing this series and it’s her vision. With her having written it and being behind the camera, it felt like a family, and it felt like she knew exactly what she wanted. And obviously in a second series, you know people more, you trust people more, it’s less intimidating. It just felt like, oh wow, this is fun. This is having a great time with my sisters. Who are all mad.

Interview with Lauren Socha

Cat (Lauren Socha) sitting on the loo
Cat (Lauren Socha)

Lauren how does Cat feel about the discovery of Callum, her new brother? Does it change the way she feels about Cathy at all?

She’s just happy for anything. She’s so appreciative that she has Cathy, so to have a brother is even better for her. It’s everything that she’s dreamed of. I think she’ll treat Callum the same as Cathy. She’s just happy to have the both of them. She loves her sister a lot and having a brother tops it off for her. She’s just buzzing for the both of them.

Family is hugely important to Cat. Why do you think that is?

I always look at Cat – the character – as a little bit naïve and vulnerable at times. With those sorts of characteristics, you are more open (as a person) and more open to finding a normal, loving life with a family. Family life would have meant the world to her because it’s all she ever wanted. It’s the not the norm for her to have that, so to have that now is just everything.

Do you think there are any similarities between yourself and Cat?

Definitely. One hundred percent. I’m very silly and naïve myself. Even more so since becoming a parent. And I like that, because she’s sweet. She’s not horrible and it’s lovely playing those types of characters compared to some other roles I’ve played. It’s nice to be playing a nice normal girl rather than a crackhead or a prostitute!

You have new cast members joining the gang this time. How has that been? Were days on set fun?

It must be very intimidating to come on set when we’ve all built relationships in series one. Immediately we felt a natural connection – especially between me, Ellie and Chris. It was a natural thing for us all and we all got along great. Michele is wicked. And Caroline, it wouldn’t be the same without Caroline, she’s amazing. Me and her got along so, so, so well. It was wicked to have them all, we all just gelled immediately.

I corpse badly. Me and Ellie are completely different people, but we have the exact same sense of humour. It’s always me and Ellie – Ellie can keep it together but I can’t. It’s like you know when you get told off at school and the teachers are like, “stop that Lauren” but you can’t, and it becomes a nervous laugh. It’ll get to 6.50pm when we wrap at 7pm and it’ll be me holding everyone up! The banter between me and Ellie is hilarious, and I think that’s what makes it. That’s why Cat and Cathy bounce off each other. It’s a natural connection we have. She’s one of my dearest friends in the world, but we’re very different and I think that’s what makes the characters work as well.

Cat’s hugely endearing (and very funny) to watch. Do you enjoy playing her?

It’s one of the best roles I’ve ever played. It’s nice to come away from the rude-girl approach and play a normal person. It’s quite refreshing and she’s a very refreshing character to play. It’s wicked to get the lines and see how she would play them. Holly’s been brilliant at letting us have leeway on building our characters and has been very open and creative with us as actors.

What would you like to see going forward for Cat? Not necessarily in series two, but in general.

It would be hilarious to see Cat in a very serious relationship and see where that goes. A pregnant Cat? A labour Cat? Although, you might see Cat do something similar later in this series… just not necessarily with a human.

The Other One is a Tiger Aspect Comedy (part of Banijay UK) production for the BBC, created and directed by Holly Walsh, who also co-writes the series with Pippa Brown. Executive Producers are Simon Wilson, Holly Walsh and Pippa Brown, and the producer is Caroline Norris. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Ben Caudell.

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