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Sharon Horgan on the Pulling Special

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David Thair | 17:30 UK time, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Pulling SpecialWith the Pulling Special nominated for three British Comedy Awards including Best Television Comedy Drama (UPDATE: see David Quantick's predictions), now is your chance to revisit its brilliance as debuts on BBC Two this weekend. We asked star and co-writer Sharon Horgan to tell us what it was like to get the gang back together one last time.

Sharon Horgan writes...

As usual I've left this until the last minute to do and therefore I apologise if this blog is a little rubbish (I've also never done one before).  But this unprofessional approach does not in any way reflect the excitement we feel about our show going out on BBC Two and that people are going to get to see our final episode in the luxury of terrestrial TV.  And any of you who watched it on BBC Three - tune in again please, it's the least you can do.

The Pulling Special is our swansong. But we wanted it to be the opposite of maudlin. When Dennis (Kelly, my co-writer and personal trainer) and I were asked to write it we wondered how we could make this last episode feel special without it feeling like the end of the line?  And we decided; let's just make it funny! Let's make it as funny as possible. Let's make it bigger and better and ruder and funnier. I really hope that's what we did.  We made it longer anyway... it lasts an hour! Woo hoo!

We also knew that we wanted to open on lots of bad sex. Dennis seemed to know a lot about this particular subject and wanted to share it with the viewers. I know very little about bad sex (I also know very little about good sex). But that's not the only reason, it had kind of become our signature and it also seemed like a great short hand to show the kind of relationships that the girls were now in. The only problem with that idea was that Rebekah Staton, the actress who plays Louise, had gone and lost five stone. So we thought if we just don't mention it and the viewer sees Louise in a romantic clinch without any explanation that'll be weird so we had to think of the best way to reintroduce Louise, five stone lighter, without making a big deal about it. We thought of all our options; liposuction, stress, having a baby, cutting her head off, giving her a Fitness First addiction... and then the obvious occurred to us; give her dysentery of course! Have her arriving back from her travels abroad with a new man and a bacterial infection of parasitic worms! Brilliant.

We also knew that we wanted the gorgeous Paul Kaye back to play Billy, Karen's lost love and partner in crime. And because Karen (Miss Tanya Franks) has a new man on the scene, Martin (the sublime Paul Ritter) we had to give Billy an excuse so huge that it would win her back and get them both living like it's their last day on earth one last time. I'm not going to tell you the excuse. You'll have to watch.

The final ingredient to add to the Pulling pudding... actually let's not call it a pudding, let's call it a curry; no, let's call it a kebab, actually let's stick with curry; the final ingredient to add to the Special curry was Donna's ex fiancée Karl (Cavan Clerkin) coming back from Italy. He'd need a big reason to come back and this big reason turned out to be Dennis Kelly's actress girlfriend Monica Nappo (that's one for the fact fans) and no it wasn't extreme nepotism she was simply the only Italian comedy actress we knew - luckily she was an exceptional one. And so with Karl back on the scene all Donna (me) has to do is dump her new abominably posh boyfriend, Stephan, (Tobias Menzies - so posh and hot!) and dispose of the Italian wench, and they'll all live happily ever after.

So that's it. All we had to do then was find an airport, a hot air balloon, a small plane and about a hundred rotten tomatoes and we were set.

We hope you watch the Special and that you love it. We loved making it so much. Everyone did. And to go out an explosion with all the characters dying was like a dream come true.  

Only joking.

The Pulling Special, originally show on BBC Three, makes its debut on BBC Two this Saturday at 10.40pm


  • Comment number 1.

    PLEEEEEEEEASE bring back pulling, that was the funniest thing i ever saw, I was a follower of the original sieries, too many good programmes are not continuing, BRING BACK A NEW SIERIES OF PULLING

  • Comment number 2.

    Sharon, I can't believe I missed even noticing it was repeated last night! How could the Radio Times not have made it the 'Pick of The Day'? (Fortunately I still have it on my HD recorder from earlier in the year.)

    At least it won the British Comedy Award. Will that be enough to persuade the BBC to release it DVD? I so want to buy the boxed set of the complete story: not just series 1&2. I am sure your wonderful comedy drama will be a much loved classic that will outlast others by decades.

    I'm not sure I would want you to bring it back to life for a new series. The final episode was the perfect final ending.

  • Comment number 3.

    Anyone on Twitter who is upset that Pulling was axed and wants to know why, or at least maybe bring it back, can follow us at @BringBkPulling.


  • Comment number 4.

    Bring back Pulling - I loved it and so does everyone I know. What are the BBC playing at? You reversed the decision to cancel Not Going Out - now do the same for Pulling ... and put it on BBC1. It's much funnier than Gavin & Stacey.


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