FUNNY IN SUN THE

Philip Glenis­ter, Les­ley Sharp and some very snappy lo­cals star in Sky’s new comedy about a Bri­tish fam­ily cop­ing with a wild new life in Florida

Daily Mail Weekend Magazine - - YOUR TV WEEK - Karen Hock­ney

The tem­per­a­ture’s over 90ºF, the air’s heavy with 80 per cent hu­mid­ity and bugs and mos­qui­toes abound… Wel­come to the set of Liv­ing The Dream, the new six-part Sky One comedy-drama about an or­di­nary York­shire fam­ily who up sticks to head across the At­lantic to run a trailer park in the sun­shine state of Florida.

The se­ries re­unites Life On Mars ac­tor Philip Glenis­ter with his Clock­ing Off co-star Les­ley Sharp as Mal and Jen Pem­ber­ton, a loved-up couple who leave rain-lashed Eng­land with daugh­ter Tina, 17, and son Fred­die, 15, af­ter buy­ing a di­lap­i­dated res­i­den­tial trailer site which Mal plans to turn into a boom­ing fam­ily busi­ness. How­ever, their hopes of a dream life in the sun look de­cid­edly over- op­ti­mistic af­ter their ini­tial en­coun­ters with some of the ec­cen­tric park res­i­dents and the lo­cal wildlife, which in­cludes al­li­ga­tors and snakes.

Reality sets in for the chil­dren when they at­tend their new high school, says Rosie Day, who plays Tina. ‘She has an image of what it’s go­ing to be like but the reality is Florida is quite re­li­gious and bor­ing and not full of par­ties and the glam life­style she ex­pected. She is des­per­ately try­ing to get her new boyfriend to kiss her but even that isn’t al­lowed!’

Tina’s brother Fred­die, played by Brenock O’Con­nor – who you might recog­nise as Night’s Watch mem­ber Olly from Game Of Thrones – also strug­gles to adapt. ‘He wears a hoodie and has ear­phones in, head down, not want­ing to change from a proper York­shire boy.’

Fresh from film­ing a scene in which Mal has an an­gry stand-off with his colour­ful res­i­dents, Philip ex­plains why he jumped at the role. ‘Hav­ing just fin­ished play­ing a South­ern preacher in Fox drama Out­cast, which is all about de­monic pos­ses­sion and not a bar­rel of laughs, I wanted to do some comedy,’ he says.

‘Mal is the eter­nal op­ti­mist in many re­spects. He’s been fairly suc­cess­ful, he’s pro­vided for his fam­ily, and his wife Jen keeps every­thing grounded and real. The core of the show is their re­la­tion­ship, and it’s nice to see a mid­dle-aged couple on TV who get on. They de­cide to go off on an ad­ven­ture at a stage in their lives when a lot of peo­ple are think­ing of slow­ing down or re­tir­ing.’

Liv­ing The Dream also of­fered Les­ley some light relief, hav­ing just played DC Mag­gie Oliver in the crit­i­cally ac­claimed but har­row­ing BBC1 drama Three Girls, based on the Rochdale child-groom­ing scandal. ‘This show’s the po­lar op­po­site,’ she says. ‘You’re al­ways look­ing for vari-

ety in the tone of the work you’re do­ing, so it’s great to en­gage in some­thing light, warm and a bit of a ca­per.

‘Jen is in­cred­i­bly proac­tive as a mother and a wife,’ Les­ley adds. ‘She and Mal still have great fun to­gether. Often you’re pre­sented with the prob­lems that ex­ist in a fam­ily at this stage of life, and while those co­nun­drums are there with the Pem­ber­tons, the way they choose to deal with them is through ad­ven­ture, hu­mour and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.’

The hope now, of course, is that the Pem­ber­tons’ ex­ploits ap­peal to viewers. ‘I’d love this to con­tinue,’ says Philip. ‘There’s lots more to ex­plore so it would be great to get a sec­ond sea­son and be­yond, and just keep go­ing with it.’ Liv­ing The Dream starts on Thurs­day at 9pm on Sky One.

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