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I TALK TO Kerry Godliman

Kerry Godliman plays Nicky in Jack Dee’s second ever sitcom Bad Move, eleven years on from when Lead Balloon began.

Scripted comedy on ITV isn't something you see very often, but Jack Dee is hoping to have success on the channel with Bad Move, which he's co-written with Pete Sinclair who also worked with him on Lead Balloon.


Kerry stars alongside Jack Dee, Miles Jupp, Sue Vincent and Seann Walsh.


What’s Bad Move all about?


It’s a couple that move to the country and it’s a bad decision. It hasn’t worked out and they can’t go back.


They were living quite an urban life in Leeds and then they wanted rustic idyll and went for it! They probably didn’t do enough research and the house they bought is in a dip and they can’t get the internet.


They can’t function properly there. They’re not really country people.


What’s Nicky like as a character?


She’s more prepared to be positive about it than Steve, he just goes “This is a disaster” – but obviously that plays better into Jack’s comedy persona.


My character is more like “Come on, let’s try and make the best of it” – I think she agrees that it’s crap and they’re gutted.


Do you identify with Nicky at all? Where do you live? City or country?


I live in London and I’ve always lived in London. I think about moving all the time and yet never go. I think that is a pretty common thing and I know a lot of the time when I chat to local friends it’s often about moving. But none of us ever go!


I am a city person. I love the countryside for holidays but I couldn’t make it a life choice. I’d feel too isolated and also the house that we shot it in really was rural.


Where is the house?


Yorkshire. All Yorkshire dales, the morrs, all round that area. It was lovely, but it wasn’t permanent!


It was in the middle of nowhere, so the drone shots you see of the house are real. It is beautiful and doing the shoot was lovely because the drive to work every day was in some of the most stunning scenery we’ve got in the country.


It really is beautiful. But I just don’t know what people do all day!


What’s Jack Dee like to work with? Have you worked with him before?


Jack’s lovely to work with, he’s pretty laid back. I’d done gigs with him and Helpdesk with him. But this whole job was really easy, nice and relaxed.


And there’s a great supporting cast too?


Oh yes, brilliant. Miles Jupp, Seann Walsh, Sue Vincent – who was just lovely. She was so much fun and is great. She’s really good. (Laughs)


The brilliant Phillip Jackson plays my dad and he’s a dour Yorkshire man who constantly wants to remind them of their errors of judgement.


The old lady, Thelma Ruby, who plays Alice was just adorable and she’s ninety odd. She’s had the most amazing career. She just casually chats about doing films with George Cole, so I’d go home and Google her and find this old 50s film with her and George Cole! It’s just amazing.


She was something else. I barely remember last week and she could remember things in her twenties! She’s got fabulous recall.


What else can we expect from the series then?


Every week their life is just relentlessly crap. From anything like a flooded kitchen to being manipulated by the local old lady to do her garden. Smug neighbours who are just annoying.


What was it about the script that appealed to you?


I cannot believe that it’s never been done. It just seems like the most simple and relatable subject. People always talk about moving. It’s a contemporary obsession, with Rightmove and lifestyle perusing on the internet and all that crap.


I’m amazed no one has ever made a comedy about that. Jack said he just watched a load of these Escape To The Country programmes.


It’s not like The Good Life concept really because they’re not trying to be self-sufficient. They’ve got this fantasy that they can live this country life but it’s not realistic.

I think one of the main attractions to it was just how relatable it was and also it’s really fun to watch people have a crap time.


Whenever someone says they’re moving to the country you kind of hope it goes badly otherwise you might have to do it! But if it’s a disaster you go “I’ve made the right choice. I’m not going anywhere.”


Do you think you ever will move to the country?


Maybe… I can’t see it. I’d miss London too much. I use the city a lot. If I ever stopped using it then I might consider it. I wouldn’t mind being by the sea. It’d be nice to live by the sea but I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of nowhere in the countryside.


There’s not a huge amount of comedy on ITV. Why do you think that is?


No. I don’t know why that is. The material dark arts of commissioning are something I’ve got no idea about! (Laughs)


No one knows. There have been some great comedies over the years on ITV. They don’t turn over as much comedy as the BBC but it does have a tradition of it.


You’ve done a fair bit of comedy on television and my favourite is Derek. Do you think we might ever see another outing?


I don’t know. I would love to do it again. But you don’t know with Ricky (Gervais). He moves on which I admire really. I think it’s healthy to move on.


He is very fond of Derek. He likes that world so you never know, but he’s busy doing his other stuff.


You’re going back on tour aren’t you with Stick or Twist? What’s that show about?


Yes, I’m on tour for the rest of this year. And rather fortuitously, it is about whether or not to move out of London! But that’s a happy coincidence because I’d been working on this show long before I’d got the Bad Move job.


Thematically, it is exactly the same sort of subject matter. It’s a lot about whether to move out of London or not. Everyone is going to think I’ve strategically penned the whole show around a sitcom… but I haven’t!


What else have you been up to?


I shot a drama for Sky, Save Me, which Lennie James wrote but I don’t know when it’s on. I don’t think it’s going to be this year now.


It’s a really good script and it’s Lennie and Suranne Jones playing the two leads. It’s such a great cast, it’s got Jason Fleming, Susan Lynch, Stephen Graham… it’s an amazing cast so that was an extraordinary experience and a rare opportunity for me to do drama.


I do do drama now and then but I don’t do as much as I like. I’d love to do more. It’s a nice break from comedy.


The last drama I did was Our Girl which was a good couple of years ago now. I do like doing drama and I would happily do more but once you’re put in a little niche – comedy is sort of my niche now – but I’m more than happy to do drama. I love doing it.


It was an extraordinary script. It’s rare when you read something and it makes you go “Oh my God. This is really good.”


Bad Move begins Wednesday 20th September at 8pm on ITV

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