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“Be­cause I live away – I’m pro­tect­ing my­self now – I was keen not to por­tray Claire as the vil­lain of the piece,” she con­tin­ues can­didly.

“Just be­cause she lives away from home doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean she loves her mother any less. She just doesn’t have the abil­ity that Jenny has of be­ing hands-on and car­ing and warm.

THE AP­PREN­TICE Wed­nes­day, BBC1, 9pm

AT LAST, the in­ter­view rounds. This is al­ways the most en­ter­tain­ing episode of the se­ries as the can­di­dates have their egos well and truly pricked as their boasts and busi­ness plans are put un­der the mi­cro­scope by Lord Su­gar’s trusted busi­ness con­tacts. Ex­pect some tough talk­ing, tur­moil and tears.

“The way she ad­vo­cates for her mother is when she comes back she is like the bull­dog – ‘We need to sort it’ – whereas Jenny is much more lov­ing.”

IT’S an ab­so­lutely stel­lar per­for­mance from all the cast in­volved with Care, but par­tic­u­larly Ali­son.


LAST year, ITV brought us the documentary Billy Con­nolly & Me: A Cel­e­bra­tion, which stirred up mixed emo­tions for fans. It was great to see ‘The Big Yin’ on TV, but it felt so much like an obit­u­ary, a few view­ers felt moved to take to so­cial me­dia to ask if they had missed some sad news. So, many peo­ple will be

She is cap­ti­vat­ing in how she por­trays the heartbreaking side-ef­fects of Mary’s stroke and con­se­quent de­men­tia – her in­abil­ity to speak prop­erly, her loss of lan­guage, her con­fu­sion and the way she lashes out at those she loves.

Sheri­dan and Ali­son know each other well, from their time work­ing to­gether on BBC com­edy Gavin And Stacey, which first aired more than a decade ago now.

But Sheri­dan re­veals they pur­pose­fully didn’t dis­cuss how Ali­son was go­ing to play the char­ac­ter of Mary, and they didn’t re­hearse to­gether ei­ther, as sug­gested by di­rec­tor David Blair.

It made for some re­ally au­then­tic re­ac­tions to the emo­tional ma­te­rial.

“The scene where she’s wheeled past me in the wheel­chair, it was re­ally early on in the shoot, and I hadn’t seen how she was go­ing to be play­ing it,” says Sheri­dan, who will be seen on our screens in the new year in new ITV drama se­ries Clean­ing Up.

“When we went for it and I saw how she was look­ing at me with those eyes ... We had the most amaz­ing crew as well, who were lit­er­ally go­ing around Ali­son’s face and my face to get all that emo­tion.

“It worked so well for me (not re­hears­ing to­gether), be­cause I haven’t had ex­pe­ri­ence of de­men­tia. Just see­ing that, it took my breath away.”

■ Care will air on BBC1 to­mor­row at 9pm.

artists on the bill in­cluded the West End casts of hits Hamilton and Tina – The Tina Turner Mu­si­cal, Take That, Ge­orge Ezra and An­drea Bo­celli and his son Mat­teo. Co­me­di­ans Rhod Gil­bert and The Lost Voice Guy also ap­peared, as did Cirque Du Soleil and Cir­cus 1903.

breath­ing a sigh of re­lief to learn that al­though this new documentary finds Billy re­flect­ing on his pre­vi­ous TV trav­els, it also fea­tures some up­beat new footage of the co­me­dian ex­plor­ing his cur­rent home of Florida.


HE’S starred in ev­ery­thing from Sher­lock to Black Pan­ther (via The Hob­bit films), but while Martin Free­man clearly has no fear of act­ing in front of groups of peo­ple, it seems he is afraid of cook­ing for them. Luck­ily, Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Do­herty are on hand to help him get over his kitchen-based stage fright as they show him how to make the per­fect eggs royale.

Billy Con­nolly Thurs­day, ITV, 9pm

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