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29 October 2014
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The Cup 
Tanya Franks plays Sandra Farrell © Hartswood Films/Matt Squire

The Cup – a six-part comedy series for BBC Two

Tanya Franks plays Sandra Farrell

Tanya Franks starred as Karen in two series of the popular BAFTA-nominated comedy series Pulling. In The Cup she plays Sandra who is married to Vincent, owner of a struggling local firm of funeral directors and proud sponsors of the team.


Their tomboy daughter Ali plays in the team as an ill-disciplined midfielder who insists she is "not a ****ing girl".


Tanya explains: "I play Sandra, who is chairman of the football team because her daughter Ali is a huge football fan.


"She's a pretty ballsy lady and ropes in her husband's undertaking business to fund the team as she thinks they have enough money.


"It soon becomes apparent that, in fact, they don't, and they are willing people to die so they can up the funds!


"She also sees this sponsorship as a good PR opportunity for Farrell's Funeral Directors and gets the local television documentary makers involved – she's a pretty determined person."


Tanya enjoyed finding out a bit about successful women in the footballing world.


She says: "I couldn't help but read a bit about Karren Brady, Managing Director of Birmingham City FC and an award-winning businesswoman – she's obviously very much in people's minds at the moment as a woman who's a driving force in a man's world, although saying that I'm not sure that my character's much like her!"


Tanya explains what appealed to her about The Cup: "I do always seem to play strong characters and Sandra is pretty determined.


"The series has found a great balance between the children and the adults and the way in which the adults are often far more immature than the kids!


"I really liked the idea of the documentary style although it did take a bit of getting used to, having to acknowledge the camera to make it realistic whereas usually you're desperately trying to avoid looking at it!"


She found she could easily relate to her character and the other pushy parents surrounding her: "I'm not a mum but I think naturally as a human being you feel affection for children, you want them to do well and you're incredibly protective and encouraging of them.


"I can see Sandra in a lot of women I've met who are not exactly power driven but like to be the matriarchal, authoritative figure, in control of their environment."







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