« Previous | Main | Next »

Candy Cabs: Playing the lead with Jo Joyner

Post categories:

Lisa Millett Lisa Millett | 08:40 UK time, Friday, 1 April 2011

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.

Jo Joyner as Jackie and Lisa Millett as Elaine in Candy Cabs

It's not just a girly show; the male characters are brilliant too.

Paul Kaye is exquisite as Dennis (look out for a bit of improvised business with me, Paul and a hosepipe in episode two) and there's also Daniel Ryan, Paul Nicholls and Dennis Lawson.

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.

Jo Joyner, who plays co-owner Jackie, and I had worked together briefly before on No Angels. I was a bit bonkers in that too - hmmm, a pattern seems to be emerging!

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!

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

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.

Candy Cabs begins on Tuesday, 5 April at 9pm on BBC One and BBC One HD. For further programme times, please visit the upcoming episodes page.

Listen to an interview with Candy Cabs writers, Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew on Radio 4's Front Row.

You can put your questions to the Candy Cabs actresses by leaving a comment at the BBC Comedy blog.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    What section or comment caused my remark to be removed.
    Pls advise?

  • Comment number 3.

    After seeing the advertisement for this apparent 'New' series I just couldn't help but post, surely this is quite simply a 2011 spin-off/elaboration of 'Carry On Cabby' released in 1963.

    Wot a shame that originality seems so lacking these days, 'Carry On Cabby' is held as a classic by many, I doubt that this will be a patch on it, nor will it be remembered - Oh dear BBC.

  • Comment number 4.

    Is there any way to get in touch with the script-writers, please? It's just that I organise an annual Pink Car Rally, for a children's charity called the Little Princess Trust (which gives 'real hair' wigs to children who lose their hair - primarily through cancer treatments) and it would be wonderful if one of our flyers/car window stickers could be featured, or even the rally mentioned. The more people who know about it, the more children (ages 2-18) we can help! I don't think this post breaks the house rules? I'm a volunteer and all proceeds from the rally go to the charity.
    I also wonder whether it would be possible, please, for one of the Candy Cabs to participate in the pink car rally, in September? Thank you.

  • Comment number 5.

    Cant believe you have a character breathing into a rubber glove to relieve a panic attack. Hyperventilating into a rubber glove will quickly use up the oxygen and increase intake of carbon dioxide instead. Paper bags are no longer used for the same reason.

  • Comment number 6.

    Harmless fun. I know the village scenes are Lymm, but where's the coastline?

  • Comment number 7.

    @ MoXYZ

    Paragraph 3 "West Kirby which provided our seafront shots"

  • Comment number 8.

    Fab episode of Candy Cabs! Anyone know where the cream lace back waterfall cardigan Jo Joyner was wearing is from? x

  • Comment number 9.

    I can just about stomach programmes like Candy Cabs prior to 9pm, but to pass this derivative, stereotypical drivel off as proper drama seems to me to confirm the creep of soap-opera style programming beyond the times that I am used to seeing such tripe. Put this nonsense on during daytime TV when it will reach it's target market much more effectively. Is it too much to ask that the BBC maintain just ONE HOUR per night for intelligent, original and thought-provoking programmes?

    As for "It's the kind of show that blokes are made to watch then end up loving." Dream on,

  • Comment number 10.

    Any chance of a video from the outside of the house when Jo Joyner was standing naked at the window - Phew!!!

  • Comment number 11.

    loved the first show, I'd also love to know where jo joyners cream cardigan is from and they grey studded jacket whe wore aswell so I can get my mits on them!

  • Comment number 12.

    Absolutly loved it didnt want it to end . Cant wait for next weekx

  • Comment number 13.

    My son and I watched the programme last night and didn't stop laughing! It made a change to watch a programme that didn't have loads of swearing or was a talent show! We loved it and can't wait to watch next weeks!

  • Comment number 14.

    Just to let you know we enjoyed the programme. Its a nice change to see a colourful drama instead of doom and gloom. Congratulations.
    I would like to ask where you purchased the fairy lights in Jackie's kitchen. Are they hanging from the ceiling. I think they are fab. Thank you.

  • Comment number 15.

    Just watched it today on Iplayer and loved it, great cast, funny and one for the ladies enjoyment long may it last!

  • Comment number 16.

    Jo Joyners was wearing a beautiful dress at the opening of candy cabs, how do I find out where it came from?

  • Comment number 17.

    I have seen some of those lights in Ikea

  • Comment number 18.

    No narrative comedy, no protagonists, no original plot, no unique characterization, the arc of the story delivering a turning point where the main protagonist (and inciting moment) is going through her exit, cringe-worthy jokes NOT created out of character and a fifties picture postcard Blackpool attempt at northern humour. You may as well as stuck turnips on poles at a coconut shy, stuck 'flamboyant' costumes on them, threw custard pies at them and had a Sid James laughter track going "phnark, phnark" every thirty seconds. Even as we speak, lecturers in MA Creative Writing courses are using Candy Cabs as a fair copy example of 'How To' NOT write a SitCom, SitCom/Drama, SitCom/Drama/SketchShow - lesson one? Know your genre. How on earth did this rubbish make BBC One?

  • Comment number 19.

    Good drama, think it will get even better. Have worked in cab companies for 20 odd years, just waiting to see how accurate they are in their portrayal of a real cab office.

  • Comment number 20.

    I have just watched Candy Cabs on the iPlayer and thought it was brilliant! I was captivated by the whole show from start to finish and am looking forward to next week's episode.

  • Comment number 21.

    It's awful! it's predictable and the gender-roles are awful; why do programmes like this always reduce men to gigolos, losers, eye-candy in tight shorts, spineless wimps, or machiavellian schemers? In the meantime it shows women who lie, cheat, scheme and sell their family home from under their husband's nose - but that's all right then according to the Beeb.

    All in all, I don't like it, my family thinks its trash and funnily enough so does everyone I know who watched the first one.

  • Comment number 22.

    Girls you brilliant,my first time i seat down in a late night to watch a bbc show,as they well known for introducing cheap made film ,but on his one Thumbs Up.
    i can wait to see the next series.

  • Comment number 23.

    to be honest some complaint here are inecceray and they should be removed,people still didn't get the message as this is a good business idea and if i had the money i would run a cab business just for women,as is safe to get with them in a late night,how many crime did happend just in the last week with men's driven minicab and how many girls been raped in the cab as men's driver,can you see it this is not just about acting is a brilliant idea and good business plan,i wish i had the idea first and the money to runn it,stop moaning people and if you don't like show please go to bead early or change the channel.

  • Comment number 24.

    Charli001 wrote:
    Fab episode of Candy Cabs! Anyone know where the cream lace back waterfall cardigan Jo Joyner was wearing is from? x

    You can get them from J.D williams website or simply be, I only know because I bought one a couple of weeks ago from there

  • Comment number 25.

    Well i would just like to say after reading the negative comments on here about Candy Cabs, im shocked, how can you not enjoy this comedy drama, its a breathe of freshair.... im sick of reality tv and police dramas, its all depressing and its about time we had some girlie comedy. The cast is just fabulous with great chemistry what a great bunch of girls to put together. It really is a tonic to watch instead of doom and gloom, cant wait for next week, and heres to another series please, xxxxx

  • Comment number 26.


  • Comment number 27.

    Hi, is anybody know where can I get the creamy vest/top and cardigan that Jackie wore on her date with Tony in the 1st episode? Many thanks.

  • Comment number 28.


    Love the show.

    Well done all round.

    Can't wait for the next series!

  • Comment number 29.

    Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to post a response. There have certainly been many varied opinions and comments - I am delighted that the show has provoked such a discussion. I'm sure that our Costume Department in particular will be very chuffed about the number of positive remarks (Charli001, Geraldine 2402...) about Jo's (Jackie's) wardrobe!

    I am very proud of the job we did on Candy Cabs, and on the whole, the overwhelming response has been both one of congratulation and encouragement.
    Whilst comparisons with Carry On Cabby (Mr 13) were going to be inevitable - and I don't think in the current climate of doom and gloom it's a bad thing (let's face it, who doesn't like - even if it's secretly - Carry On films) - the inspiration for the show was actually the real all-female taxi service based in Warrington, called 'Pink Ladies'. Whatever the comparison/inspiration, some 'harmless fun' where you can sit down and just enjoy an hours worth of TV seems to me to be the perfect antidote to all of the things going on in our lives.
    As I mentioned in my blog, there was a deliberate move away from portraying a 'grim up north' picture, and it's been really heartening to hear/read all of the compliments (Mark, Sarah, Shazza...) praising this colourful world. I really do believe that it portrays an aspirational group of women just wanting to make a better life for themselves - and what can be wrong with that?
    As with any form of entertainment, there are going to be some people who love what you do and some people who don't, and I genuinely enjoy reading all forms of opinion. I said in my blog that men would end up loving the show and I have received many compliments to that effect. Crawford - I am sorry that you were not one of them (!), but wouldn't life be boring if we all like the same things?

    I do think that the criticisms about lack of characterisation and stereotypical gender roles (Jamie Taylor, Mrs Malaprop) are harsh. Jamie - you say that men are portrayed as 'Machiavellian schemers', but you also say that women are portrayed as those who 'scheme'. I think that in one way or another, all of the characters are flawed, and that's what makes them real and believable - at the end of the day, we are all made up of shades of grey. For every Dave there is a Dennis; for every Elaine, there is a Diane. None of the characters are one-dimensional. I really do think that Candy Cabs shows us the best and worst of both sexes in society and cannot be accused of a gender-bias at all.

    To pink-car-rally - yours sounds like a truly wonderful charity. If I were you, I would contact the producers of Candy Cabs, either via the BBC or Spalsh Media. I wish you every success with your ventures.
    Finally to those of you on this blog and around the country (big thanks to the founder of the Candy Cabs Twittion by the way) who want to know when Candy Cabs will return, thank you so much for all your kind words and support, and hopefully, we'll be back on the road very soon.

  • Comment number 30.

    loved it the first time i seen it ,girls you are amazing , how come there are only 3 eposides so sad but cant wait for the next series

  • Comment number 31.

    Thank you for the good wishes and advice, Lisa, I'll try to track the producers down....

  • Comment number 32.

    could someone tell me where to get Jackie's multicoloured top in Candy cabs last episode.

  • Comment number 33.


  • Comment number 34.

    oh my word I love it!! I need more 3 epsiodes arent enough to contain my weekly fix of real women having fun!!! And one other thing would someone please please please let me know where Jackie/Jo Joyners Dress in the pic above is from its the dress they had their open day on, as I'm for a wedding soon and I need that dress! It is gorgeous! I love this show but please let me know where that dress is from plus her other clothes too would be nice!! Many thanks in Advance L x
    P.S Tell the producers to get busy as they need to make loads more series :D

  • Comment number 35.

    please PLEASE!!! can you please do some more epsiodes please! I really loved the programe and all i want is MORE!!!!! It was really really great and 3 episodes is not enough so please can you do more, and get me laughing again:) xx


More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.