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I TALK TO Scarlett Alice Johnson & Sean Michael Verey

The day after series two of Pramface returned to BBC Three, I met up with Scarlett Alice Johnson and Sean Michael Verey who play Laura and Jamie over at BBC Television Centre, to see what they had to say about the upcoming series.

Now for those who haven’t seen Pramface before, what's it all about?

Scarlett: OK, so Pramface Series 1 Jamie and Laura met at a sixth form party and had a very quick, very 'brief' romance. Laura then realises about 6 weeks later she was pregnant. Laura was 18, Jamie was 16, and the end of series 1 Laura gave birth. So Series 2 picks up with their new young baby who we can now reveal is a young girl. Which we didn't even know for ages.

So how long has passed between the first series and the start of the second?

Sean: About 5 or 6 weeks. And now it's stepped up, it's different circumstances for them both. Jamie's now in college and has a part time job. And Laura has left University and her dreams for University behind now.

As the series goes on Laura tries to get a job as well so there's an episode that involves all that.

How are your characters coping with the baby now it’s here?

Scarlett: I think they have good days and they have bad days like any, I'm sure, new mums and dads.

Sean: On the whole they've grown up more. Especially Jamie, because he is the younger one so you know he had to grow up fast and he has to provide now.

So he's gone and got that part time job, whilst still juggling that with college and everything you're going to grow up? Do you know what I mean? It's going to make you a lot wiser and become...

Scarlett: A bit more of a man.

Sean: (Laughs) Yeah, a bit more of a man.

So what was it like working with a baby on set? They say don't work with children or animals...

Scarlett: Yeah. It was actually really nice, it was really really lovely. They were beautiful babies.

Was there more than one then?

Scarlett: Yes there were 6. They were all lovely and their mums and dads were lovely and it was very very cool. [For the parents it must have been] quite scary. Although not as scary as the end of Series 1. We had a tiny two day old baby to be the newborn and that was much scarier because that makes you really nervous.

Sean: She was nervous? I was nervous.

Scarlett: (Laughs) So yeah that was quite scary but in this series the babies were a bit bigger and you know, there were hard days weren't there?

Sean: There were hard days yeah but I get that just working with you (Scarlett) so...

Scarlett: (Laughs) Most days are hard with Sean. (Both laugh).

And here's a question from Leslie Hayes on Twitter. Do you want your own?

Scarlett: I would love to have my own babies but not necessarily because of Pramface. Like that would be ridiculous to want a baby just because of Pramface. That would be a bit extreme. It definitely hasn't out me off.

Sean: No, it hasn't put me off. I've always wanted a family at some point not right now. (Both laugh).

Now back to the show. How are both your families dealing with the new arrival?

Sean: I think Jamie's family are dealing with it ultimately better because they've got less to deal with. I mean the only thing they've got to deal with really is that Keith is unemployed. (Me: Which carries on throughout the series?)

Yeah, he kind of cant hold down a job really. So that's the only main thing really. Money. Whereas Laura's family... There's obviously Alan with his head injury.

Scarlett: We're fine for money. Just not  emotionally and mentally (laughs)...

Sean: And obviously [what with] Janet taking Alan's job they've got more problems in coping with it. It's like they're distancing themselves from it a bit more. Whereas Sandra and Keith want to be hands but he needs a job.

So apart from the baby what else do your characters have in store this series?

Scarlett: They both go on quite nice personal journeys. I think because it's the next step up, it's the next little bit of their life really. So Laura spends a lot of time at the beginning of the series trying to find out what her new identity is really as this new young mum.

Because obviously her best mate Danielle (Emer Kenny) is away at Uni so she can't really relate. So she tries out lots of different things, meet lots of new young mum and tries to broaden her social circle in as much as any new mum can.

So she's trying to get out there and trying to get out there with work as well. But obviously doesn't always go to plan.

So does Laura look for a job this series?

Scarlett: Well yeah, there's a moment later on in the series where she looks for a job. But she's not really sure if a job is the right thing to do. She gives it a go to see if it will be.

Sean: And there's other people involved as well, relationship wise...

Funny you should mention relationships actually. A lot of people on Twitter have been speculating on whether or not you both finally get together in this series? Especially after that speech at the Christening...

Scarlett: (Both laugh) Oh... Jamie still manages to get it wrong again. Don't worry about that.

Sean: Yeah, he's not up there for too long. (Back to the question) Umm... we can't say ultimately. It sort of keeps you watching all the way along, but during that journey what we can say is that there are other people involved at some stage.

Scarlett: I think they continue to have moments of complete chaos between them where they can't stand the sight of each other. But then they also continue to have moments where they are actually like each other's best mate.

Sean: It's a little bit of a Ross & Rachel thing isn't it? (Both laugh).

So talking about Twitter then, how do you feel getting instant feedback on the work that you do?

Scarlett: I really like it.

Sean: Yeah I really like it. Because they're the reviews if you like, that you listen to. When you've got dedicated fans, or people who have just watched it for the first time tweeting you straight away and keep tweeting you throughout the thing...

Scarlett: Oh yeah [there's loads of fans out there], it's amazing. They're really devoted as well.

And on the Twitter leaderboard for last night, Pramface was 6th in terms of tweets per minute (375). How does that feel?

Scarlett: Oh that's amazing. That's great. Aw yay! Nice fans. If they can get in touch [directly] that's brilliant, so nice.

Sean: That's not bad is it? And they're the comments we care about. Because they're the ones watching it week in week out too.

Scarlett: And they're the people you make it for as well.

Sean: You don't necessarily make it for the critics because that's their job. You make it for the dedicated fans, the ones that are going to watch it week in week out.

This series is a much longer run, with more episodes. How was it making that move?

Scarlett: Oh it's cool, it's really good fun.

Sean: Doing the first series I think we wanted more anyway. I think sometimes that where we maybe get it wrong here in Britain, as opposed to America, they give their series a lot of chance. And it give it time to grow. Sometimes over here. I think a lot of comedies get lost in the crowd because they'll do 6 episodes and then you'll never see them again.

Scarlett: It's very easy for 6 half hours to go under the radar.

How did it feel early on knowing that series 2 of Pramface was commissioned before the first one had even aired?

Scarlett: Yeah. It made us feel amazing, just really proud.

Sean: It's what you hope for when you're making a first series - "Oh God, I'd love to do a second". To hear that news before [the show] even comes out, you think "Wow. Oh yes we get to do it again".

Now for a bit of good news. Official viewing figures for the first episode of Series 2 (856k) shows it was up considerably on the last series opener (539k). That must feel good?

Scarlett: I'm really really flattered. I do hope people keep watching and enjoy the rest of the series as it develops, because it does change. There's lots of new exciting characters. Lots of brilliant brilliant guests.

Without giving away too much about Series 2. Do you think there's room for a third?

Sean: I think there definitely is. I mean, I think we'd all love to do a third.

Scarlett: Yeah, we would. There's definitely more of a journey for Jamie and Laura to go on and also, I want to see the baby a bit bigger...

Sean: (Cutting in) On the last episode it does end left quite open. So there is scope there...

Scarlett: (Reaches over to cover Sean's mouth) Sh-sh-sh...

Sean: What?! I'm not giving anything away, I'm just saying that it's left open. (Both laugh.) So we'll see.

And finally. You're up for two awards in the British Comedy Guide Awards. Why should people vote for you?

Sean: First of all, it's incredible to even be on a list like that, because there's so many great comedies on that list. And why do I want people to vote? Because I want to win it.! (Both laugh).

Scarlett: Because Sean wants to do another speech. He does a very good speech.

Sean: Yeah I want to do another speech. (Laughs).

Pramface continues Tuesday nights at 10pm on BBC Three


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