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Archives for September 2010

Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner? How the show changed Louise's life

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Dana Stevens | 15:06 UK time, Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Do you reckon you'll be doing press ups at the age of 80? I think I'd struggle to do more than a few even now, so I've got not nothing but respect for the elderly stars of the new series Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner? The show features a spritely group of super-fit pensioners who live in the healthy Sun City retirement communities in America. They spend their days pumping iron in the gym, going for a morning run and swimming lengths in the outdoor pool. And the programme challenges a group of unhealthy Brits to compete against them in a fitness contest. Will the youngsters be able to give up their lazy lifestyles of booze, fags and telly to beat the golden oldies?

Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner?

Young Brits Ali Yildirim, Frazer Danbury, Judy Lockhart and Louise Crossland on race day in Arizona

Thursday's episode features 18 year old Louise Crossland who finds the fitness regime in Arizona particularly challenging as she's struggling with her self-confidence and weight. Although she found the pensioner's regime tough, it also had a big impact on her attitude to her own life and health. So I caught up with Louise to find out whether taking part in the show made a lasting impression on her.

Louise, how did you first hear about the programme?
I was browsing the BBC Three website looking for a new series of Family Guy, when I stumbled across the Be on a Show section. I looked through the programmes and read about Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner? and thought 'oooh I'll give that a go'.

Did you know what was involved when you signed up?
Not at all, it just asked if I was looking for a lifestyle challenge with super-fit people from a different country.

What did you first think when you arrived in Sun City?
I thought it was all very surreal, it sort of reminded me of the Desperate Housewives set; all pretty houses, everything looked perfect, but there were no young people anywhere! Ha ha ha!

Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner? (Judy Lockhart, Louise Crossland, Norb and Mari Matelski)

Young Brits Judy Lockhart and Louise Crossland with their American hosts 76 year old Norb Matelski and his 60 year old wife Mari.

You seemed to really get on with Norb and Mari, the couple that you stayed with. Were you worried about staying with an old couple that you didn't know?
Yeah I did get on with Norb and Mari, they were really lovely people. I didn't expect to have such a good relationship with two complete strangers. I felt quite homesick at first but built a good relationship with them. I was worried about staying with them as I had never met them before and didn't know anything about their daily routine or anything. It was all very surreal and weird but, I must admit, I enjoyed it after the initial shock of it all.

Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner? (Judy Lockhart and Louise Crossland)

All four of you were struggling physically against the super-fit old people - what was the hardest thing to deal with on a physical level?
It was probably going to the gym. I felt out of place, unhealthy and like I shouldn't be there. The other three seemed to get on with it and didn't find it hard. But mentally I found it difficult as I have always been big and never actually been to a gym. It was when Norb asked me to go on some weird machine I'd never seen before in my life that I started to doubt my physical ability. Judy could do it no problem but when it was my turn I gave up. I got really upset and went to the toilet and cried, I felt awful and never felt like that before in my life. That was the moment I realised I needed to change, physically and mentally.

Louise Crossland

A healthier, happier Louise Crossland

You seemed to be genuinely inspired to change your lifestyle by the end of the programme, have you?
Yes I have, I don't eat as much junk food anymore, I eat more fresh food now and I have taught myself to try new things and not be scared. I don't drink as much anymore, maybe once a month instead of 3-4 times a week. I've dropped a couple of dress sizes as well, so my confidence is high high high. I love who I am now and enjoy it every way I can.

What's the most important thing you'll take away from filming the show?
Don't worry about being different, you can exercise no matter what size you are. And people shouldn't judge you on your appearance.

You can see Louise Crossland in Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner? at 8pm on Thursday. Dana Stevens is Content Producer for BBC Three online.

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Cherry Goes Dating: My Dating Stories

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Cherry Healey Cherry Healey | 13:29 UK time, Monday, 27 September 2010

Recently I dived headlong into the world of dating for Cherry Goes Dating. But the truth is I've never been in a less dating place as I have both a baby and a hubbie! So why on earth did I make a programme about dating?!

Dating has been a huge part of my life. I hopped onto the love rollercoaster at 16 and I have (mostly) really enjoyed the crazy ups and downs. And when it comes to types of dating, you name it, I've tried it. Technically, I've been researching for this film for over a decade. If this was a subject in school, I would get an A* for effort.

Cherry Goes Dating (Cherry Healey and Katie McDonald)

Cherry Healey and Katie McDonald in Cherry Goes Dating

In some sense, this was a way of making peace with that chapter of my life coming to a close, perhaps forever. No more amazing first dates, no more first kisses, no more hilarious bad-date stories. So after such extensive research what have I learnt along the way?

Blind dating
This is perhaps my favourite type of dating! Most likely, the date has been set up by friends who really know you and the other person. So, if the spark of love doth not fly, at least there is a good chance it won't be horrendous.

Online dating
Some people say it lacks old school romance. But for many people this is a small price to pay for meeting someone in a comfortable environment. Sometimes it's also considered dangerous. But as one person commented, is it any more dangerous than picking someone up in a bar? And there are now enough amazing success stories to convince anyone of it's effectiveness. However, online dating requires a close following of the dating rules (see below) but once I'd clocked onto these, I found it brilliant fun.

Cherry Goes Dating (Cherry Healey and Madeleine Amber)

Speed dating
My experience of this was miserable. There is just no way on earth I could tell if they were lovely or not in two minutes! And it's incredibly cut-throat. You find out via an online form whether people liked you or not. I'm sure for some people it's worked wonders but this really didn't tickle my fancy.

Public transport
This is less dodgy than it sounds. I found two boyfriends on public transport. One on the Eurostar (yes he was a saucy Frenchman) and the other on the underground (the relationship was short and sweet, just like him). I think this is such a romantic way to meet someone - if it worked, what a great story to tell your grandchildren. However, the downside is that you are going in totally blind - you know nothing about them and if you're going to hook up again, make sure you follow the safe-dating rules!

This might seem like the perfect place to hook up with someone BUT I slowly learnt that you need to be be really, really sure it's worth the risk. If it doesn't work out, you have to see them EVERY DAY! Yikes.

When I was making Cherry Goes Dating I met Madeleine, a lady who's got loads of experience of going on dates. Watch this to see what she thinks men really want:

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During my dating odyssey I created a few dating rules. After years and years of dating I realised that there were ways of minimising disappointment/heartbreak/embarrassment. (F.Y.I. they don't always work!!!)


1. For a first date, only meet for a drink. If it goes well you can suggest dinner but if it's not going well you can say you're meeting friends and leg it without hurting their feelings!

2. Don't meet too close to where either of you live. Meet half way so there's less chance of bumping into each other afterwards!

3. Tell three of your mates/members of family where you are going and what you are doing.

4. Sounds a bit extreme but ask a friend to call you an hour after the date has started - not only is it super safe but if the date is really bad you have an excuse to leave! Be warned that if you do this it's pretty obvious!

5. Don't buy anything new for the first date. If it's a wet squid you will feel really annoyed at having spent the money. Save the hot new LBD for date no.2.

6. Just be yourself. Don't try and impress with white lies - better to find out if he likes the real you, right at the start.

7. If you didn't like your date, let them know gently the next day. Always practise good dating karma as one day it might be you on the receiving end!

8. If a guy has the courage to ask you out - be kind!! Boys might be the ones that often do the asking but it's just as scary for them.

9. If you're online dating, be picky about who you actually go on a date with. It's easy to run out of enthusiasm after the 10th bad date.

10. Enjoy the process! You'll be in a relationship arguing about socks and bills quicker than you can say 'it's not you, it's me.'

Cherry Healey presents Cherry Goes Dating tonight at 9pm on BBC Three.

Got a good dating story? Share yours now.

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Don't Tell the Bride: Scott Mills talks about Simon and Kaleigh

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Graham Matthews | 15:09 UK time, Friday, 24 September 2010

Did you see this week's Dont Tell the Bride? We loved it and so did Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills.

This week it was the turn of Simon and Kaleigh in a Las Vegas special with tears, drama and more tears.

Listen to Scott and Beccy chatting about their highlights from the show…

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Watch the show on BBC iPlayer now but don't wait for too long - it's only available until 10pm, Tuesday 28th September. And you can read groom Simon's blog about his nightmare wedding planning.

Graham Matthews is Content Producer for BBC Three online.

Cherry Gets Married: What getting hitched means to me

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Cherry Healey Cherry Healey | 17:09 UK time, Friday, 17 September 2010

Three months ago I changed. My name changed, my 'status' changed and my left hand changed. In short, I got hitched.

Externally, apart from the piece of metal on my finger nothing has changed at all. But internally things have changed quite a bit...

I am now a 'Mrs'
This has pros and cons. On the good side, sometimes I get taken seriously! I had a meeting with my bank manager and for the first time I didn't feel intimidated! BUT this change in status comes with boring admin: passport, bank cards, registration and bill information all need to be changed. I also sometimes forget I am a Mrs - hesitating for a moment before answering the question 'what is your name?' Always impressive!

Cherry Gets Married (Cherry Healey and Bhakti Maisuri)

Cherry Healey shares Bhakti Maisuri's wedding day in Cherry Gets Married

I've taken a giant leap of faith
Whilst, of course you can be just as close without being married, for me there is something extremely powerful about standing in front of someone and telling them you'll stick by them. It was overwhelming to hear someone say 'I want to be with you for the rest of my life - even though I know you will get old and ugly and grumpy and eat too many donuts'. OK, I added the last bit, but that's essentially what someone is saying when they say 'I do'. Obviously, for 40% of marriages this isn't the outcome. But I think it is incredibly romantic (some people choose to call it naive!) that people still make that promise to each other regardless of the statistics. No one knows what will happen in the future but it's kind of amazing to take a leap of faith and make that promise to another human being.

I've gained a new sense of community
Life can be so busy and hectic; it's sometimes hard to keep in touch with the people you love. And if family live far away it's even harder. One of the elements of the wedding I most enjoyed was having close friends and family all in the same place. When I went into the church I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere of support. I underestimated the significance of having everyone with us on the day. During the vows the congregation were asked if they agreed to support the couple in their marriage - again, this was such a powerful moment! I looked at my husband and we both smiled as the reply boomed back 'YES'! For me, this is almost as important as the 'I do' I heard from my hubbie. I know that marriage is really hard - and that there are going to be times when we want to put each other's head in the washing machine - but these are the times we will need the encouragement and support of all the people in our life.

Cherry Gets Married (Cherry Healey, Jo Bryan and Rob Stone)

Cherry meets Jo Bryan and Rob Stone as they prepare for their wedding day

It's not all about me
It's easy to get caught up in the wedding circus; what will my dress look like? What will my hair be like? Will people think I look ok? I'm a bit of a tomboy and even I had a major dress meltdown! But I realised that a wedding is not just about the couple - it's also a significant day for the people that love them. For their friends, it's acknowledging that your mate now comes with a mate-for-life. And as a friend, it's your job to support them through the good and bad times. For the parents and close family you are welcoming a new person into the fold and entrusting the care of your beloved family member into the hands of someone else. It's also a rare chance to put on a massive party for all your family and friends. I really loved watching everyone at the wedding getting stuck in and dancing the night away!

I don't have to do it again (hopefully!)
There is so much pressure that the wedding day is 'the best day of your life'. Wow, pressure! I have to say that in the end it was an incredible, beautiful day but in the few weeks running up to the wedding I was pretty stressed. I had always thought that brides complaining about wedding admin were clearly just not organised and perhaps a bit moany. I was proved very wrong. If you're organising the day yourself and have a busy job, dealing with the admin is full-on! Now, I know I brought it on myself. It is totally possible to get married in an electric blue jumpsuit (I was tempted) on the beach, but for some reason I chose to go down the traditional route. And a traditional wedding comes with an enormous to do list! Anyway, thanks to the support of some amazing people, we managed to pull it off without any dramas and I had an absolute blast. But, at 3am, when I slumped into bed after the party, I sent up a little 'thanks' to whoever's up there that it was done and dusted!

Cherry Healey presents Cherry Gets Married on Monday at 9pm.

Next week, Cherry will be sharing her dating stories here on the blog and you can watch Cherry Goes Dating on Monday 27th September at 9pm.
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New lesbian drama Lip Service: Meet the characters

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Dana Stevens | 11:06 UK time, Friday, 17 September 2010

Lesbian sex, seduction, betrayal and heartbreak are coming to BBC Three next month - yes we can now confirm that Lip Service will be on your screens in October.

We can't wait here at BBC Three and it seems you're pretty excited too. Loads of you have been asking about it on our Facebook page and Twitter.

Lip Service follows the sex lives and dramatic love affairs of three twenty-something lesbians living in Glasgow. So we're talking hot, steamy scenes, loads of melodrama and some brilliantly funny bits as well.

So now you know that Lip Service starts in October - I think it's time you met the characters:

Occasionally bisexual, photographer Frankie generally only uses men for sex but falls in love with women. Frankie's the one with commitment issues. Her return from New York isn't great news for everyone and proves quite a shock for her former lover Cat...

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Despite a messy break up with Frankie, Cat is now a confident and self-assured architect. She's a driven control freak who worries too much and analyses everything and anything.

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A struggling actress and Cat's best friend and flatmate, Tess seems to fall for all the wrong sorts of women.

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It looks great doesn't it? Let us know what you think by adding a comment.

You can read about the creator's inspiration for Lip Service in writer Harriet Braun's blog post.

And don't forget Lip Service starts on BBC Three in October.
Dana Stevens is Content Producer for BBC Three online.

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Cherry Has a Baby: One Year On

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Cherry Healey Cherry Healey | 15:11 UK time, Monday, 13 September 2010

Last weekend was my daughter's first birthday. SAY WHAT?!! I have a daughter?!? I am responsible for another human life?!? I can barely bring myself to say it...a PARENT!?!

I am 29 but I still don't feel grown up enough to have a human baby. But I do have one. As I write this, she is putting the contents of my make-up bag into the dishwasher.

Cherry Has a Baby (Cherry Healey and Sophia Sigawale)

Cherry Has a Baby (Cherry Healey and Sophia Sigawale)

It's odd to think of myself 15 months ago. I'd just found out I was up the duff and I was a nervous wreck. I found out on my lunchbreak from work. I was just pottering about, vacantly munching on my tuna sarnie, when it dawned on me that I was really late. And my boobs felt unusually large. And...uh oh. But I had a coil and so surely I couldn't be preggers? I was in fact so sure, that when I took the test I didn't even stop listening to Usher on my iPod. But, after being quite amused at having to wee on a stick, there it was. The little blue '+'. So small, so innocent. So unbelievably life changing.
Cherry Has a Baby (Cherry Healey)

I was scared about becoming a mother for so many reasons. How could I deal with the torture of childbirth? Could we afford it? Would I be a good enough mum? Would I lose my own identity? I spent the next 9 months trying to understand my feelings in a bid to become 'ready' for motherhood. A few things did help. Whilst making the documentary Cherry Has a Baby for BBC Three, I met some wonderful women, one of whom had a fabulous philosophy about giving birth. She firmly believed that it was nothing to worry about - our bodies are designed to give birth and that being scared would only hinder the process. Whilst I was still overwhelmed at the thought of becoming a mum, I was at least reassured about labour.
But no matter how many books I read or people I spoke to, I couldn't seem to make peace with the idea of motherhood. And in the end, it wasn't until my daughter arrived that my maternal instincts kicked in.

Now my daughter is one year old. And I can't believe it, but I love being her mum. Of course there have been highs and lows. Over the past 12 months I've had to become more organised, and it can be hard getting enough sleep, but I've learnt lots along the way. So here are ten things I want to share:


1. OK, I won't lie. Childbirth is no picnic. BUT there are now so many options available to make it more comfortable, there really isn't any reason at all to be scared.

2. You are eating for two but in QUALITY, not quantity. Your little bean is really little. It doesn't need a bag of doughnuts. (I only learnt this after month 3!)

3. In ante-natal class they teach you about perineal massage and pelvic floor exercises. They are gross, but do them. They really help.

4. Give in to spandex and maternity tights. They are amazing.

5. Don't spend a fortune on baby stuff. Second hand/hand-me-down/borrowed stuff is brilliant. They grow out of/get bored of most things in 5 minutes anyway.

6. Don't listen to people who spread doom and gloom about parenthood. If it's so bad, why do so many people have more than one?!

7. You won't lose your identity. The structure of your life will change, but you can still be the same person. Having a baby does not equal a lobotomy.

8. Sleep is precious. Try everything within your power to get enough. If you're really tired, it's hard to feel good about anything.

9. Babies are really funny. You will probably think your baby is the funniest person on the planet.

10. Look after each other. Whether that's a boyfriend, girlfriend, hubbie, wife, friend or family member - your support network is incredibly important.

It's been a really steep learning curve, and whilst I still make mistakes all the time, a year on I can say with confidence that I wouldn't change it for the world.

Cherry Healey presents Cherry Has a Baby tonight at 9pm on BBC Three. And check back here next week as Cherry will be writing a blog post about meeting brides of different ages for her next programme Cherry Gets Married, which you can watch on Monday 20th September at 9pm.

E20 Extra: Behind the scenes of the first two episodes

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Dana Stevens | 12:02 UK time, Thursday, 9 September 2010

Flying oranges, stab wounds, Stevie's teacups and a dance-off....and that's just the first episode! Yes, the new series of E20 has started online and the four new troubled characters all seem to have plenty of secrets. You can watch the first two episodes on the E20 website now.

Here at BBC Three, we like to give you exclusive access, so we bring you E20 Extra. You'll find exclusive videos filmed with the cast and crew, you can discover how the actors prepare and how scenes are shot. So check out the E20 Extra videos; take a look at the first day of filming, Olly's first scenes complete with flying fruit, and meet Emaa Hussen who plays Naz. Here's a little taster of what you can see in the second episode, as the actors prepare to shoot a party scene.

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You can watch a brand new episode online on the E20 website every Tuesday and Thursday. If you miss them, BBC Three will be showing the E20 omnibus at 8.30pm on Mondays.

Dana Stevens is content producer for BBC Three online.

Him & Her: Who makes the best flatmate?

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Dana Stevens | 14:47 UK time, Monday, 6 September 2010

The cast of Him & Her (Russell Tovey as Steve, Sarah Solemani as Becky, Kerry Howard as Laura, Ricky Champ as Paul and Joe Wilkinson as Dan)

Last week, I spoke to Russell 'Being Human' Tovey and Sarah Solemani, who play Becky and Steve, in the new comedy Him & Her which starts tonight at 10.30pm on BBC Three. You can read the first part of the interview on the blog and today in part two I thought it would be good to introduce you to some of the other characters in the show. There's Becky's sister Laura and her cheating fiance Paul and needy neighbour Dan (who's my personal favourite). But what do Russell and Sarah think?

Him & Her (Kerry Howard as Laura, Ricky Champ as Paul and Joe Wilkinson as Dan)

Laura (Kerry Howard), Paul (Ricky Champ) and Dan (Joe Wilkinson)

Tell us about the other characters in the show....who's your favourite?

Russell: Mine's Becky, I love Becky.
Sarah: Ah! That's nice! Mine's my sister...ha ha
Russell: Laura..yeah Laura she's good.
Sarah: Laura and Paul...they sort of come as a package don't they? They're yin and yang and they have a very dysfunctional relationship which is hilarious. But they sort of need each other, I always love it when they turn up.
Him & Her (Camille Coduri as Shelly)

Shelly (Camille Coduri)

Russell: I think every character is so well-written and well observed by Stefan (Golaszewski the writer) and you just fall in love with each of them. Like Camille Coduri comes in and plays Shelly, who's one of the friends, in just two episodes but she makes such a massive impact. She's so brilliant and you absolutely love Shelly.
Sarah: Yeah and she has an on-off weird relationship with Dan which is slightly disgusting.

But which of the characters do the cast think would make the best flatmate? Watch this brilliantly funny video diary to find out...

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(The eagle-eyed among you will notice that this video still has the old working title on it! And did you spot the Inspector Morse box set? That's important for what's coming up!)

We've got some great online video diaries you made while you were filming (you can watch them on the comedy website) and lots of people mention how much you farted on set Russell...

Sarah: Yeah!
Russell: It got to the point where I would fart and everyone would sigh but no one would care. And I'd go paaarrrp and the crew, cast and everyone would just shrug! ha ha ha!

Him & Her (Russell Tovey as Steve and Sarah Solemani as Becky)

Your characters spend the whole series in the flat. What's the longest you've ever stayed indoors without getting out of your pyjamas, getting dressed and leaving the house?

Sarah: When I was at university I spent a lot of time indoors, days...probably even almost a week I'd say.
Russell: Really?
Sarah: Yeah probably...
Russell: I think I spent a whole day and night playing Grand Theft Auto once. Then I left the house and the world was a very different place. I got in a car and thinking I was still in the game, I was like 'Oh it's ok to run someone over and if you see a prostitute it's fine to pick them up'!! I can't do that ever again!

And finally, as your characters love watching Inspector Morse, I thought we'd do a quick Morse-based quiz to find out which one of you 'knows most about Morse'. So first question, which city is Morse set in?

Russell: Weymouth? Ummm...

Do you want multiple choice? Is it Cambridge, Oxford or Manchester?

Russell: Ohh Cambridge
Sarah: Oxford

The correct answer is Oxford well done Sarah. Which of these film directors has directed three episodes of Inspector Morse?
A) Stephen Frears (The Queen, Dirty Pretty Things)
B) Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, A Mighty Heart)
C) Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire)

Him & Her (Russell Tovey as Steve and Sarah Solemani as Becky)

Russell: Michael Winterbottom
Sarah: Danny Boyle

It's Danny Boyle, well done Sarah...Russell you're getting thrashed.

Russell: How did you know that? Did you read it on the boxset?
Sarah: dunno

And finally, what kind of car does Morse drive: A Jaguar, BMW or Mercedes?

Russell: Jaguar

Correct. So Sarah won that and she's won the enviable title of knowing the 'Most about Morse' well done!

Sarah: What do I win? Is there a prize?

Umm no, you just win the title and the glory!

Russell Tovey and Sarah 'Knows Most About Morse' Solemani star in Him & Her tonight at 10.30pm on BBC Three.

Dana Stevens is content producer for BBC Three online.

Why you're going to love Him & Her...

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Dana Stevens | 14:00 UK time, Friday, 3 September 2010

You wait ages for a new comedy and then two come along at once. Hot on the heels of The King is Dead is another new show which I think you're going to love. Him & Her is an excellent sitcom featuring a young unemployed couple, Steve and Becky, played by Russell Tovey (George in Being Human) and newcomer Sarah Solemani. They spend their days happily lazing around their flat; hanging out, watching daytime TV, having sex, bickering and farting.

Have a look at this video diary that the cast and crew made on the first day of filming and you'll get the idea....

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When I went to meet Russell and Sarah, I was intrigued to see whether the actors would be as open about their lives and bodily functions as their characters...

Him & Her (Sarah Solemani as Becky and Russell Tovey as Steve)

Becky and Steve spend the series trying to do as little as possible other than spending time together. What is it that they love so much about each other?

Russell: I think they're strangely aspirational in the fact that they do nothing but they're just kind of cool and so completely normal. They're just like the average couple and there's nothing starry about them, nothing special, but they're in love with each other and it's their love story.
Sarah: There's a level of contentment that they have which you don't really see in a lot of portrayals of young people. They're not searching for something or ambitious or frustrated. Their space is quite special to them.
Russell: They're completely happy, they've just found each other, everything is paid for and they're just enjoying themselves. There's no rush to get a life because, to them, this is like the best life ever.

What do you think people are going to love most about the show?

Russell: They're just going to fall in love with the characters. It's such a character driven show. The script is amazing but it's just about the simpleness of this group of friends and you just hope that people are going to connect with them. It's also a 'grower' show; the more you watch the episodes, the more you understand each of the characters. So when Laura (Becky's sister) turns up there might be an inner cheer and when Dan (their neighbour) turns up. I think people are going to have their own favourites who they look forward to.
Sarah: And I think the skill of Stefan Golaszewski, the writer, is that actually in each episode there is a plot, a little story. It's not a big story but it's a big story for the characters. And each episode is a well-contained story, almost like a play, in that it never leaves the space of the flat and it's in real time. It's refreshing and it's a truthful observation on how young people are behind closed doors.
Russell: I think that so many people will get it on so many levels especially teenage boys who like Men Behaving Badly and farting and crapping. They're going to absolutely love it and they're going to have a massive crush on you Sarah. You're going to feature in their fantasies...ha ha ha...
Sarah: Yes!...ha ha!

Him & Her (Sarah Solemani as Becky and Russell Tovey as Steve)

It's a brutally honest portrayal of the intimate moments in a relationship. You literally show everything; the mundane chats about sex, farting, weeing with the door open...were you comfortable with that from the beginning or did you ever get embarrassed on set?.

Russell: I think it was probably pretty hard for you Sarah, as a woman, because men do openly fart, burp and talk about crap. It's hilarious amongst your mates if someone lets a stinker off, whereas I don't imagine it is with girls....actually maybe that's a massive sexist statement?
Sarah: I dunno, I mean I do talk about poo and stuff with my friends. I think women are more visceral and they talk about their digestion and periods and they're open about their bodies. So I didn't mind it so much! I mean the space that we filmed in became our dirty, private cesspit and it became our home. If you found it difficult it probably would have been a problem to shoot the whole show.
Him & Her (Russell Tovey as Steve and Sarah Solemani as Becky)

Russell: Yes you had to commit to it. We did a pilot before so we got used to it in that situation. But the thing with this script is that we'd end up talking absolute filth to each other not realising there were other people in the room, there'd be sound guys with earphones and booms and you'd just ignore them. They would be able to hear every word we were saying - it was absolute filth!

Sarah: Yeah working with that material did affect me. After we filmed the pilot, I was with my friend and her mum who's this professor and I looked out of the window and I was like 'Oh that chimney looks like a big black penis"...ha ha ha....and it did! In the skyline there was a black chimney and it did look like a penis. And the mum went "yeah"... and it was that part of my brain that was so well exercised that I couldn't leave it behind! ha ha!

Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani star in Him & Her which starts at 10.30pm Monday on BBC Three.

Wait that's not all...Russell and Sarah will be back with part two of this interview here on the blog next week and you can find out why they played a tense quiz about Inspector Morse!

Dana Stevens is content producer for BBC Three online.

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Brand new comedy The King is Dead

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Dana Stevens | 11:50 UK time, Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The King is Dead Let me introduce you to our anarchic new comedy panel show, The King is Dead, presented by Simon Bird (you'll probably recognise him from The Inbetweeners) with co-presenters and comedians Katy Wix and Nick Mohammed. Each week a well-known public figure is hypothetically bumped off and three celebrities compete for the job. In the first episode, celebs like James Cordon and Peaches Geldof are competing to be the President of the USA and in future episodes jobs such as the Chief of Police and Father Christmas are up for grabs. It's described as "part spoof job interview, part chat show, part panel show and part character comedy". There's a surreal mix of funny sketches, random challenges and silly games, so when I met up with Simon, Katy and Nick I was interested to know whether all the celebrities were happy to play along...

The King is Dead (Nick Mohammed) Katy: Sometimes they looked quite frightened and bemused.
Simon: I think that they were all pretty game for it. I think that they had been sent the pilot but I don't know if they all knew exactly what they were going up for. And they didn't know what the games were going to be and stuff.
Katy: Some of them took the job interview quite seriously and they'd really given it some thought. They certainly hid it if they were offended...from us anyway.
Nick: There's a bit when comedian Johnny Sweet comes in and we do what is basically a sketch in the middle of the show, and I always used to whisper to Katy to take a look at the celebs during that bit, because they always had no idea what was going on.
Simon: That is actually quite unprofessional Nick because you would quite often miss lines and we'd have to do another in a way you should have been focusing on the show...
Nick: Ha ha yeah, I couldn't remember my lines because I was looking at the celebs.

The King is Dead (Nick Mohammed, Katy Wix and Simon Bird) (Photo: Nick, Katy and Simon take time out from their healthy breakfast to talk about their new show)

After watching the Chief of Police episode, I've got a terrible image stuck in my mind of a dog licking dog food off Caprice's toes. That's going to stay with me for a long time! What is your favourite or most uncomfortable celebrity moment from the show?

Katy: That was pretty gross
Simon: I'd hate that. Caprice in general was quite bizarre. She's a brilliant guest though.
Nick: Derek Acorah (the spiritualist medium) was a good guest.
Katy: He was great
Simon: And he made some predictions in the green room.
Katy: "This show will be a hit and I am never wrong"
Nick: Dappy (from N-Dubz) was good
Simon:...and Louis Walsh was good.
Katy: (James) Cordon was actually game for a laugh wasn't he?
Simon: We've mentioned so many people that were good now that the people we haven't mentioned will be offended. Ha ha. It was great that the guests were so up for it because it was a new show that they've never seen before, and so I think they must have been nervous coming on it.

The King is Dead (Simon Bird)In each programme you dress up as different characters depending on the job, so policemen to interview the Chief of Police for example. Did you find being in character helped you push the boundaries of what you could say to the celebrity guests?

Katy: I think so, definitely. And also the premise it gave you was important because at any point you could suddenly say, actually this is a job interview you have to take this more seriously.
Simon: Especially when we're in the costume and kind of in the heat of the moment and certainly in the grilling bits. Caprice and even Eamon Holmes got a bit rattled and I couldn't quite tell whether they were genuinely rattled or not. And it kind of made for good telly but I was always a bit like, oh dear...
Katy: ...what's going to happen in the green room afterwards?
Simon: But I really enjoyed goading them which you wouldn't get to do in real life because it would just be rude.

The King is Dead (Katy Wix)So it starts on BBC Three on Thursday, what are you hoping people will take away from the show?

Simon: Well I think first and foremost it's a comedy show, so it would be nice if people thought it was funny. Certainly when you see more than one episode, there's quite a strict structure to it in a way, like Shooting Stars. Anything can happen within those bits and so you want people to look forward to certain bits. The idea behind it was always to be silly and surreal and I really like the idea that people don't know what is going to happen next. I hope that's what comes across.
Katy: It was usually us mostly...we didn't know what was going to happen next!

Simon Bird, Nick Mohammed and Katy Wix star in the unpredictable The King is Dead which starts on BBC Three this Thursday at 10.30pm.

Looking forward to the show? Add your comment.

Dana Stevens is content producer for BBC Three online.

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