True Dare Kiss
Pooky Quesnel plays Nita (43)
Glamorous, self-made businesswoman Nita is the eldest and appears to have it all. And although the image of her perfect marriage to Nash (Paul McGann) and her down-with-the-kids patter aren't quite convincing, in business Nita is the real thing.
She stops at nothing to win contracts for her catering business, McK2. But holding her marriage and family together, sealing a property deal and dealing with her dad's ghost and her own sexual hang-ups soon causes Nita to falter...
"True Dare Kiss is a very dark comedy drama which is a cross between Six Feet Under and Cutting It," explains Pooky, who was recently seen in the acclaimed drama Recovery, alongside David Tennant.
"Nita runs a catering company; she employed two of her sisters who she thinks are unemployable by anybody else. Beth (Lorraine Ashbourne) is an alcoholic and a tearaway, and Alice (Esther Hall) is emotionally under-developed, so Nita controls and looks after them.
"Her third sister Phil (Dervla Kirwan) has been away in London for a while and she hasn't spoken to her brother Dennis (Paul Hilton), who lives with their dad, for 20 years.
"I think Nita grew up too fast, taking the mantle as the eldest sister, because her mum kept going off and reappearing again. Of course, with a background like that insecurities do arise," says the London-based actress.
"Nita's husband Nash (Paul McGann) originally went out with her sister Phil, and when she disappeared off to London to be a journalist she left the field open for Nita, who pounced and then duly married him. So, when Phil comes back, it's a bit of a problem because Nita knows that Phil was the love of his life," smiles Pooky.
"I based some of Nita on my sister who lives in Manchester and her relationship with her two kids," confesses Pooky. "She was a hip young mum without trying too hard.
"I was brought up in Eccles, not far away from Debbie (Horsfield) in a rather large semi-detached house. I have six brothers and sisters. We're all born within eight years of each other so we're incredibly close.
"My sisters are my best friends. We look alike and have similar mannerisms, and it kind of freaks people out when we're out together," laughs the star of Thief Takers and Skins.
"Manchester has become this sexy, confident city, so it's great to come back. Northerners are so friendly, and that really strikes you when you've been in the South for ages. I get back at least three or four times a year to see my mum and one of my sisters, who still lives there.
"I wrote for Family Affairs for a while," says Pooky, who filled the time between productions by indulging in one of her other passions – writing for television.
"I started writing four years ago to occupy my mind in times of unemployment, but I really enjoy it.
"I did some development work for Carnival and I started writing for Doctors on a contract to contract basis because it's much more flexible than getting roped into a long-running series for months and months of the year, which means I can still do my acting.
"It's great fun because you pitch the story of the day, fit in their serial elements and it takes about six weeks in all to turn around a whole episode."