"The idea of being in a murder drama is an absolute no-no for me ... it's so important to bring light into people's lives."
After a successful first series in 2021, Bloods, the hit comedy created by Nathan Bryon and Samson Kayo and written by Nathan Bryon and Paul Doolan is back with the first part of its second series.
The comedy, about a gang of eccentric paramedics working in South London, sees Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks return as odd couple/dream team paramedics Maleek and Wendy. And this series, they find new sources of conflict when they are involved in a malpractice investigation and Wendy's deeply irritating son starts work at the depot.
Elsewhere, best friends Darrell and Darryl are faced with the prospect that their bromance might be at an end, Kareshma has started to mellow under Gary's watchful eye and team leader Jo continues to carry a flame for widower Lawrence whilst having her authority challenged by counsellor George.
Ahead of the new series, which returns Wednesday 16th March on Sky Comedy, I caught up with Jane Horrocks to find out more about what's in store for Wendy, what it's like working with Samson and if she'd ever do The Masked Singer or act in a serious drama.
First of all congratulations on series one. What has the reaction been like?
It was fantastic and the result was series two which is always an indicator that it's gone down well. I didn't watch it myself. It's actually the first time I decided not to watch myself because I had such a good time making it, I just wanted it to be a memory. I wanted to remember it as it was.
I'm so nitpicky about my own performance that I didn't want to be nitpicky about this. I just wanted to remember it. I think that was a good decision.
Have you had much contact with paramedics who have watched the show?
No, I've not actually! I know Samson (Kayo) has had lots. Maybe they don't think I'm very good as a paramedic!
Has playing a paramedic in Bloods changed the way you view them?
I do notice them a lot more and I've noticed that the ambulance drivers are mostly female actually. I don't know whether that's a thing they're trying to push at the moment, but whenever I see an ambulance driving by, it's invariably driven by a woman. So that's good!
But anyway, Wendy's not allowed to drive the ambulance. Maleek has to drive it.
How would you describe Bloods for anyone who may have missed the first series?
It's a comedy-drama about paramedics and follows the lives of four pairs of paramedics and the dynamics of how each pairing works.
I love the pairing between Wendy and Maleek. Unlikely on paper, but it works, doesn't it?
It does. It's a little bit like a mother and son relationship. She does want the best for Maleek and he resists her guidance a lot of the time, but then realises that she might be right.
How do you see Wendy?
She loves life, does Wendy. She's a very positive person. She sees the best in people and likes fun. She likes sex. She's just up for a good time and lives life to the full.
Maleek talks about living life to the full and isn't. Wendy walks the talk, definitely.
A big change for Wendy in this series is the arrival of her son Spencer, played by Nathan Foad, who turned up at the end of series one and appears to be here to stay.
Yes, he is very much a part of series two and it's not great for Wendy. But she deals with it in her own brilliant way. She never really gets cross with him - and he is incredibly irritating. You absolutely understand why Wendy has fled the nest and gone to make a life for herself in South London.
He's cramped her style enormously. Quite a bit of series two is about Wendy trying to think of ways to send him back to Nottingham!
We know that Wendy wants to start dating. How does that go for her?
Well, in series one we learn that she goes for men with big hands. I think she likes quite macho type men. I think that's who she goes for. We don't actually see her having any dates in this series.
She had a fling with the air ambulance guy last time, but we don't see her in a relationship this time. But she talks about flings that she's had!
What are some of your favourite scenes to film?
I like all the scenes with Samson, obviously. Some of the scenes between me, Samson and Nathan Foad who plays Spencer are really great fun. Especially the ones on the road. I think the ones on the road are the ones that I like the most. When we're going out to see different patients and encounter different scenarios, that's what I like the best.
I love the scene right at the start of series two where Wendy and Maleek are singing Mr Brightside. Was that scene a lot of fun to shoot?
We'd been given the song the night before because they were trying to clear rights for certain songs. So I think it was going to be something else but they'd decided on Mr Brightside and neither of us knew the song particularly well. I'd heard it but I didn't know the lyrics.
I like to get a bit more notice on things like that - but anyway, neither of us could remember the lyrics properly. So there was genuine corpsing and I was trying to muddle my way through really.
Bloods doesn't shy away from big set pieces, does it? The car crash in series one, the digger in episode two of this series...
Not having watched any of it, I don