Earlier on this year, I went up to Manchester to speak to Mount Pleasant’s newest family, the Millers (Nicola Hughes, Patrick Robinson and Ellen Thomas).
The Millers are a larger than life West Indian family who prove to be a match for the Johnsons.
Husband and wife Cameron and Jenna Miller are played by Nicola Hughes and Patrick Robinson. They live with his mother, Nana (Ellen Thomas, EastEnders) as well as their two children, twenty year-old Finn and two year-old daughter Tulissa.
First of all, what can you tell us about Cameron and Jenna Miller as a couple?
Patrick: They love each other very very much! They’re still sort of kids, in terms of their relationship.
Nicola: They’re a very passionate couple. They’re always snogging, always kissing.
Patrick: Even though we don’t go too much into it, but if you look at their history, they have a son who’s 20 and a daughter who’s two. So there’s a big gap there where they said “We are going to be together” and of course that makes it seem that they’re very much into each other. They haven’t let kids or their careers take over too much.
Nicola: Having said that, Jenna’s doing quite well. She’s got two salons... I think there’s something quite sexy about that. That she’s bringing in the bacon as well.
Earlier on Sally (Lindsay) was talking about how in their first meeting, Lisa slams the door in Jenna’s face. Is that the thing that riles her?
Nicola: Oh she hates it! It doesn’t help their friendship. It’s obviously meant to set up the Millers joining Mount Pleasant, and it does so brilliantly. From the moment the Miller arrive, it kicks off... fireworks!
Nobody slams the door on Jenna Miller! I only went round to be nice.
Does Jenna realise how much she’s winding up Lisa at the start?
Nicola: Yeah I think so! (Laughs) I think they’re just very similar, that’s the problem. That’s where the fireworks come from. Some of the scenes that are coming up are going to make you howl! It’s brilliantly written as well. Brilliantly written.
They’re so similar that they’re both as bad as each other. It really is “What’s going to happen next?” with these two. I think Jenna did try really really hard to get on with Lisa
What do Cameron and Dan make of their warring wives?
Patrick: Similarly they know they’re wives are similar, so they just have to pander to it, police it and stage manage it so that everything is fine.
What’s it been like coming into a well-established show five series in?
Nicola: It’s been lovely. obviously as you say, it is well-established, and you’re coming in not only to a wonderful crew and brilliant actresses and actors, but with it being so established it’s been very easy to slot in. It hasn’t been a case of, where do we find our place. It was very apparent where we slotted in, and what our roles were to add to the show... and to bring some black juice! (Laughs)
Patrick: I do feel that as a family we’ve been welcomed right the way through, from the readthroughs we realised that from the moment you get onto the floor, everyone’s going in the same direction to make the show as good as it get be.
Ellen: I also love the fact that he’s a police officer and she’s a business woman. Something you seldom see on television. It’s usually the same old same old same old, for me that’s what’s so beautiful and wonderful. I love it. Their mother lives with them, which again you don’t see. I love all of that about it.
Nicola: We get to see the banter that the family have as well, they just never stop. It works, that’s what families do, and what I love about Mount Pleasant as a whole is that you get to see two families looking after family. That’s very rare on television anyway, it’s usually a broken family, but here it’s about very loving and functional families.
Ellen, we know that Nana has her eye on Barry (Bobby Ball)...
Ellen: (Laughs!) Yeah, I think she’s found somebody who she can actually have fun with. For the longest time since her husband passed, she’s been flirting with other people’s husbands, but never more than flirting and having fun.
But this time she’s got her eye on Barry and he’s right across the road. He makes her laugh, and that’s really important to Nana, she’s got a reason to look really good again, with a spring in her step. Bobby Ball is a joy to work with, an absolute joy.
And Patrick, obviously we saw you in Strictly Come Dancing, are you still doing any dancing?
Patrick: I wouldn’t say I do it in any formal way. But I’m always physically moving in that respect. I love dancing.