Love, Lies & Records
Ashley Jensen on playing a maverick registrar in Kay Mellor’s much-anticipated new drama…
Thursday / BBC1 Writer Kay Mellor always impresses with cracking characters and perfectly paced plots mixed with northern realism and humour. So I’m looking forward to this six-parter, which sees Ashley Jensen play a registrar trying to juggle her personal life with the daily dramas of births, deaths and marriages.
On a chilly Tuesday in May, the marbled corridors and sweeping staircases inside Dewsbury’s Victorian town hall are a hive of activity, as people from all walks of life prepare to register births, deaths and marriages.
TV Times is on set for awardwinning writer Kay Mellor’s latest BBC1 drama, Love, Lies & Records, headlined by Extras and Ugly Betty star Ashley Jensen.
The six-part series follows Ashley’s maverick registrar, Kate Dickenson, as she tries to juggle her personal life with the daily dramas that her job brings.
Things are set to get even more complicated when a disgruntled colleague threatens to expose a secret from her past…
During a break in filming, we booked an appointment with Ashley, 48, to find out more…
what sets Love, Lies & Records apart from other dramas? It’s about how other peoples lives affect us all on a daily basis and there’s nowhere more dramatic than a register office. Most people have experienced a birth, a marriage or a death at some point and the drama that goes on around it, and the implications that it has on the people that work here. We cover everything – relationships, different cultures, different ethnicities, transgender, same-sex marriages.
Tell us more about Kate’s home life… She has a son, Tom, from a previous relationship, a daughter, Lucy, with Rob, her Detective Sergeant partner, and a stepson, Liam, who is Rob’s son. Kate’s doing what a lot of women do now – she’s trying to juggle family life and being a good mum and a good partner with her work.
How would you describe Kate and rob’s relationship?
They do, deep down, love each other, but they’re not really finding a great deal of time for one another at the moment, with children pulling them in different directions, wanting dogs and new phones. Kate is a maverick at work, isn't she? Yes, sometimes the way she goes about things is not necessarily conventional because she follows her heart and is a people person.
we bet that goes down well with her colleague Judy, who’s a stickler for the rules! Judy is Kate’s nemesis; they work in very different ways. Judy has a rulebook, Kate’s thrown hers out of the window. Kate’s intuitive and Judy likes to have a bit of order and she finds Kate chaotic, which she sort of is.
Your characters have some fabulous slanging matches, don’t they? Yeah, we do! Judy holds something over Kate and has her in a metaphorical vicelike grip. It’s something that has to be dealt with that has huge implications on Kate’s life and her whole moral code.
is there more implications for Kate’s friendship with colleague rick? (Laughing) There might be, there might not be!
what research did you do?
We went to Leeds town hall and met these wonderful people who showed us what they did. You’ve got to be a people person to work in that place, because you’re dealing with people who are at their most vulnerable.
Having now played a registrar, is it a job that appeals to you?
I can really relate to Kate because I love people, but like Kate, I think I’d get too much involved with everybody’s stories!
The real deal: Kay’s life experiences inform her dramas Rick Severs Kenny Doughty The popular Deputy Registrar is trying for a baby with his partner Olivia but another failed round of IVF is taking its toll.