RAISING A LAUGH
DAVID TENNANT AND JESSICA HYNES show the funny side of bringing up a disabled child
There She Goes
Tuesday, BBC4 HD, 10pm
SHAUN PYE WAS gloriously obnoxious as Ricky Gervais’ nemesis, Greg, in Extras, but now we’re about to see another side to him.
Pye has penned new BBC4 comedy There She Goes, based on his own experiences as father to a learning-disabled daughter, who has a rare chromosomal disorder.
The five-part series tells a very honest, personal story of a family coming to terms with having a child who requires much more care and patience than they anticipated.
‘People have asked if comedy is the right forum for this, but there have been lots of sitcoms about children that have drawn on the
writers’ experiences of their own kids. Why should my daughter be excluded from that?’ says Pye. ‘She’s funny, irritating and lovely in her own unique way. Why should we wrap her up in cotton wool?’
David Tennant plays Simon, who struggles with his day-to-day life with nine-year-old daughter Rosie – whether it’s simply trying to take her to the park or explain that every day isn’t her birthday.
The Doctor Who star says he was drawn to the honesty of the writing.
‘I knew Shaun a bit, but I didn’t know that this was his life,’ admits Tennant. ‘I immediately felt it was a story that needed to be told.’
Jessica Hynes, who plays Rosie’s mother Emily, says she felt an instant connection to the script.
‘Although this story is about a very specific experience, some of the emotions were so relatable to me,’ she explains. ‘As parents we all feel like we’re failing. We look at others and think, “Oh, they’re so happy”. But most people find it difficult.’
Hynes hopes the show’s sense of humour and candid approach will really strike a chord with viewers.
‘I think it’s important to tackle absolutely everything with humour,’ she says. ‘Now, if I see someone out with a learning-disabled child I feel like they are my people. And I think that if you love this show as a viewer, it might make you feel like that too.’
DAVID TENNANT AND JESSICA HYNES PLAY ROSIE’S PARENTS