Hit BBC comedy Miranda returns for a third series

Interview with Sarah Hadland

Tell us about your character in this series

Stevie has an interesting journey this series - she gets a boyfriend, kisses someone in the cast and considers other job options.

What’s different/new about series three? Anything new to tell us about Stevie?

Series three feels like the strongest so far. Miranda had a tough job writing this but I think it helps that now we're on series three she knows us all really well and  has our voices in her head (which must be bleak) when she writes, knowing how we will deliver it.  You can really see that when you get the scripts. It feels like a really well established family now.

Were you excited about filming the new series after two years away?

We were all SO excited about doing series three. It is cheesy but true, we are a very close cast and all get on brilliantly. You couldn't ask for a better group of people - we all talk in Miranda speak – ie. we put ‘ingtons’ on the end of everything. By the end of the series we don't know even we're doing it. Also Miranda and I have many weird little sayings that make us laugh but probably means we are insane.

It is so lovely working with people you get on with and know so well - we're all very supportive of each other and I feel so lucky to be part of this gang.

What have you been up to since we last saw Stevie on screen?

Since the last series, I played a new regular in Waterloo Road for BBC One - Linda Radleigh - a psychotic teacher who was a bit evil. In the end she was arrested for attempted murder and dragged off by the police. It was brilliant to get to do something so different to Stevie and get a very dramatic story line across two series. Also to be glamorous too - Linda wore lots of skin tight dresses and very high wedges. Definitely no converse!

I also did a new comedy for BBC Two, The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff, playing the fantastically named "Miss Primly Tightclench." It was set in Victorian England and was a brilliant Dickens type spoof. I was the wicked governess to Robert Webb and Katherine Parkinson's children. I carried a stool around to stand on when I talked and again I had fabulous costumes. In one scene, I wore a tiger’s head on my hat after I had slain it! 

I had also had a small role in a Dakota Fanning film called Now Is Good and have done four radio series  - Bleak Expectations, Mr And Mrs Smith, Births, Deaths And Marriages and Listen Against - all for Radio 4.

Miranda and I also went to Uganda for Sport Relief in January which was a very humbling and eye opening experience I will never forget. What people may not know is that she is a brilliant nurse. I got very ill and we were stranded on an island on a lake. She looked after me so well. I have always teased her for carrying round odd bits of food and various medicines in her bag but her Mary Poppins bag saved me and she was such a good nurse.

Also in Uganda she really did get called ‘Sir’, which was hilarious - we were completely hysterical.

Were there any surprises in the scripts?

Surprise-wise - I was surprised I get to kiss two people this series. I will say no more! Also Stevie discovers a talent she didn't know she had.

The show is increasingly popular and there’s enormous anticipation for the new series. Were you prepared for the positive response to your character and the sitcom?

The public response to the show has been amazing - especially from teenage girls. I get the most lovely letters and when you meet them, it's lovely to know we are showing some strong female characters who are far from perfect but having a lot of fun. I feel proud about that.

Also it seems a lot of families watch the show together which is really nice. We had no idea it would be so popular!!

It looks like Stevie has lots going on in the new series. Did you know before you read the scripts about all the exciting material coming up for her?

Stevie and Miranda are still competing against each other but they always have each other’s’ backs - they are true friends.

Miranda and yourself are reportedly great friends outside of filming. What sort of reaction do you get if seen out and about together?

Miranda and I have become very close friends in real life. We speak all the time when we're not filming and meet up whenever we can. We do get a lot of attention if out together. We went to see Shrek and got mobbed at the interval - the theatre manager had to come and rescue us!!

What would your dream storyline be for Stevie?

George Clooney pops into the joke shop and falls for Stevie's allure (thank you, please). Or I would love her to write a horse scene - me on a Shire horse, her on a Thelwell style miniature pony. Just for the visual.

‘My’ Miranda:

Three things we don’t know about Miranda the person, show or character:

1. Miranda is brilliant at tennis. For the Sport Relief sketch she really did play Tim Henman (which you didn't see) and he was seriously impressed. We all were and she was incredible!

2. The cast of Miranda are all chocoholics. It's like a feeding frenzy on recording days. Runners get sent out for boxes of Celebrations and we destroy them in minutes.

3. ‘Love OO’  came from real life - we really do all say that to each other.