What are we to expect from Shelly this series?
I think it's a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Shelly – almost like she gets on a ride and doesn't get off until the end of the series… or maybe she doesn't at all. She's quite emotional and you get to see how she fits in with the group, as it were. She's a victim of Laura's bullying, which she accepts, as she sees it as "Laura knows best". They have that that kind of relationship. There is one episode called The Fight and her emotions are raw and on the surface, she's quite terrified of the violence because it brings back memories of her childhood, with her stepfather. So you find out a few things about Shelly which are tragic but have hilarity to them because of the situation; because of the situation she's in with the others.
How have you found filming this series compared to the last?
To be able to come back and show the layers of Shelly is great. Last year you had an inkling of what she was like, but never actually got to see what she was really like. I still ask myself why she hangs around with all these youngsters when she's twice their age, but I think it's about finding a place and finding a family. I think she sees them as her family.
So how would you sum up series two?
It's much, much funnier, and it's pure, it's so pure. I think when people see it they will realise that we stepped up to the line and crossed that line. Which is the point of comedy: to break those boundaries and make a stand, be controversial so that people will remember. Lots of comedy, lots of situation comedies – the good ones – would stand out through breaking the barriers, I think that's what this is all about. It's really clever and there are a lick of one-liners, of group dynamics, real character work.
Have you found you've all really bonded this series?
Totally. I think we did last year, but this year it was bizarre coming back onto set and feeling like we were never away. It must be right because it's working, and it's funny how all of us stay in character mode and do things in our character modes.
So have you fallen in love with the character of Shelly?
Yes! To be honest I think we all love our characters, and each other! Although Shelly does keep insisting on squeezing into dresses which are far too revealing and far too young for her, but she's very at home in all of those, so even though you might not feel 100% comfortable in them, the moment you walk on set, you feel right.
And is there any romance for Shelly?
She had had a little thing going on last series… you were left with that. And I think Shelly is hoping to have a little reunion with Dan upstairs, but then there are all these things that get in the way – like the scary girlfriend Anita. I think she's falling in love with him though, definitely, because she thinks he's "the perfect gentlemen"… to use a quote from the show. And she really does. She also comes out of her shell when she's had a drink at a party in episode 2, The Sleepover. Out of the mouths of drunken people always comes the truth!
It's really clever and there are a lick of one-liners, of group dynamics, real character work