Friday 1 April 2011, 09:40
When the scripts for Candy Cabs landed on my doormat - well, pinged in my inbox - I read them in one go, laughed, cried, read them again to make sure I wasn't dreaming, then said out loud to myself - I have to play this part!
Candy Cabs is bold, bright, beautiful and aspirational. A deliberate move away from the "it's grim up north" approach.
We filmed in some glorious settings; Lymm in Cheshire - a gorgeous, friendly village, and West Kirby which provided our seafront shots and some of the best ice cream I've tasted!
Bet the tourist board are delighted.
The story takes us on a bumpy ride with two women who set up an all-female taxi service with, you guessed it, bright pink taxis.
Like all great double acts they drive each other crazy, but at the heart of their relationship is the bond of freindship, loyalty and love that makes them a force to be reckoned with.
It's not just a girly show; the male characters are brilliant too.
There is something for everyone - clowns, villains and heroes. It's the kind of show that blokes are made to watch then end up loving.
I knew she was a real team player, a brilliant actress and, as importantly, someone I could laugh with.
Casting Elaine and Jackie was about chemistry - a bond that translates on screen in every conversation, every raised eyebrow and every look. Jackie often knows what Elaine is thinking before she knows herself.
I knew in my head that the combo of Jo and director Minkie Spiro was the dream team.
The call came, it was a sunny day - no, honest - I ran up and down the garden like a lunatic, singing, victory dance - the lot!
The challenge playing Elaine is to make her funny whilst keeping her real, she's fragile but not a victim.
She takes huge risks and is business savvy, but her OCD and panic attacks sometimes overwhelm her.
Elaine always has her Rescue Remedy on standby and her trusty Marigold glove!
I became acquainted with the Marigold glove right from the casting process - the scene in episode one with me, Jo and Elaine's "five fingered friend" was one of my audition scenes.
Let me tell you, hyperventilating into a rubber glove (a bog standard brown paper bag won't do for Elaine!) is no mean feat.
You can't really fake the breathing, so you end up kind of having a hyper episode for real - not to mention the taste!
My relationship with Marigolds was a love-hate thing; it's a fantastic character tool, but I haven't washed up since!
The mixture of comedy and pathos is what I love about Elaine.
She's definitely out there, I've met plenty of Elaines and being honest, there are parts of Elaine that resonate with me - I always follow the arrows in Ikea!
Hope you'll be as tickled pink watching it as we were making it.
Lisa Millett stars as Elaine Partridge in Candy Cabs.
You can put your questions to the Candy Cabs actresses by leaving a comment at the BBC Comedy blog.
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Wednesday 30 March 2011, 10:00
Monday 4 April 2011, 11:54