Fri­day Night Din­ner

Geelong Advertiser - TV Guide - - COVER STORY - TAM­SIN GREIG

To fans of Bri­tish com­edy, dryly funny Tam­sin Greig is a fa­mil­iar face. She gets plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to crack up view­ers in the dys­func­tional- fam­ily com­edy Fri­day Night Din­ner, the first two sea­sons of which are now air­ing on pay- TV sta­tion UKTV. The meal of the ti­tle is a tra­di­tion in the Good­man house­hold, with adult sons Adam and Jonny ( In­be­tween­ers star Si­mon Bird and co­me­dian Tom Rosen­thal) re­turn­ing to the fam­ily home to share some food and in­vari­ably in­dulge in a bit of squabbling with their par­ents Jackie and Martin, played by Greig and Paul Rit­ter, and each other. Fri­day Night Din­ner’s Jackie is based on the mother of se­ries cre­ator and writer Robert Pop­per, isn’t she, Tam­sin? Yes, I met her and she’s very warm and cu­ri­ous. She came on set when we made the pi­lot way back and she cov­eted the gold slip­pers I wear in the show, so she went and got her­self some. Speak­ing of those slip­pers, Jackie has a very dis­tinc­tive dress sense. Have you lob­bied to keep any pieces for your­self? I didn’t keep many of the pieces from the wardrobe. The gold slip­pers made my stom­ach turn. Then there was the jump­suit, I didn’t keep that one ei­ther, weirdly. The gold train­ers I did keep. So what’s the set- up of Fri­day Night Din­ner, and how does Jackie re­late to her two boys, Adam and Jonny? The boys turn up ev­ery Fri­day night and she’s al­ways busy cook­ing. But ev­ery­thing goes wrong.

I’d have given up a long time ago. Jackie’s re­la­tion­ship with her sons is in­cred­i­bly warm, though. She’s fond of them and ex­as­per­ated in equal mea­sure be­cause they are al­ways mess­ing around.

But I think mums de­light in that an­tag­o­nis­tic be­hav­iour be­cause it’s so alien. She’s the only woman in that world and dom­i­nates it to a de­gree. Is it a fam­ily sit­u­a­tion you can re­late to? When I was grow­ing up, we had the tra­di­tional Sun­day lunch at the heart of the fam­ily, which was like a check- in point in the week. There was a feel­ing of tired­ness rather than ex­ult­ing joy, so it’s very dif­fer­ent to Fri­day Night Din­ner.

What’s in­ter­est­ing is the strength of the fe­male char­ac­ter. I think my mum was strong in our home. Is it a fam­ily sit­u­a­tion you can re­late to? Yes, it’s in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant as you learn about the rules of be­hav­iour, which are ridicu­lous, and yet we all agree to abide by them.

Fri­day Night Din­ner, UKTV ( Foxtel), Mon­day, 10.05pm

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