Jenny Agutter

  • English
  • Actor

Press clippings

Just seeing the title will be enough for true fans of Ed Reardon. They need not read on. Their favourite show has returned. But for those who've never encountered the cynicism, dry asides and borderline-psychotic vitriol of Mr Reardon, now is the time to get acquainted.

Reardon is the comic creation of Andrew Nickolds and Christopher Douglas (who plays him) and as the ninth series opens our hero is down on his luck - again. The gas and electricity have been switched off, he doesn't have a penny to his name and his fingers are too big to type on the minuscule keypad of his phone - "Sunday" comes out as "dimfat", a result that will resonate with many adult readers.

And so he turns to his now ex-girlfriend Fiona (played by Jenny Agutter), arriving at her house in a state of total self-abasement, which lasts as long as it takes for her to offer him some lunch. She agrees to consider taking him back if he gets a proper job and this is where his old rival Jaz Milvane (Philip Jackson) comes to the rescue.

There's money to be made from Harry Potter and though Ed declares he'd rather hang himself with a Hogwarts' scarf than contribute any more money to JK Rowling, he's soon dressing up as a porter at King's Cross station. Next he's persuading Japanese students to stuff £20 notes into his satchel before they "board" the Hogwarts Express.

This is not just funny, it's comic genius.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 11th November 2013

Ed Reardon - celebrated creator of an episode of Tenko, ghostwriter for z-list celebrities and, sometimes, their pets - is back, and this time he's happy. So happy, in fact, that his facial muscles have difficulty in adjusting to this new emotional experience.

Reardon fans, who include RT's very own Alison Graham and Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman, need not fear that his inner rage at the injustices of modern life or, more specifically, his life has been dampened. He begins by railing against the happy young women they place on the front of broadsheet newspapers who have just passed their GCSEs with flying colours. Why can't they show abject failures, he wants to know? And why does even the sport section of said papers have to contain a wry look at the world by David Mitchell? Why not just give him his own damn section and have done with it?

Life has certainly improved for Ed since he took up with 1960s model Fiona (played by Jenny Agutter) - she's going to fly him on an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris - but can this spate of happiness last? No, of course not. An attempt to get his passport renewed ends in the squalid disaster we have come to expect from genius writers Andrew Nickolds and Christopher Middleton. Who'd have thought a company called Merkury Kouriers could invoke such disdain?

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 3rd April 2012

Jocelyn Jee Esien returns as the optimistic South African care worker Beauty Olonga, whose work with the elderly and infirm allows her to provide a hilarious commentary on the mores and values of contemporary Britain, while also struggling to keep up with her mother's increasingly extravagant demands for money to be sent home. This week, caring for a flighty middle-class woman (Jenny Agutter) who lives with her redoubtable mother (Julia McKenzie) and feckless daughter, offers Beauty scope to make some priceless remarks on British family life. The observation that cycle lanes are virtually unusable because readily available IVF has clogged them up with double buggies pushed by out-of-work grey-haired men is as pithy a dissection of middleclass aspirations as you're likely to find.

David Crawford, Radio Times, 6th April 2011

Sharp new comedy, from Christopher Douglas and Nicola Sanderson. Beauty (Jocelyn Jee Esien) is an African woman, in Britain to work, finding it hard to make her family back home understand why she can't supply new glasses and sundry other stuff on request. But she has to send some money back home so she goes to an agency and says she's available for care work. All she's offered is a bit of cleaning. It turns out to be for a really interesting woman (Jenny Agutter) who lives with her mother and her own daughter. I didn't think I'd laugh. I did. A lot.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 5th April 2011

Apparently Monday Monday has spent a couple of years gathering dust on ITV Drama's shelf prior to broadcast. It is difficult to understand why, as this eight-part comedy drama is nothing if not likeable.

An ensemble piece, Monday Monday follows the lives and loves of white collar staff at a recently relocated supermarket chain.

It is hardly the most innovative or challenging of dramas, but it has charm and humour to spare and a top notch cast that includes Holly Aird, Jenny Agutter and Fay Ripley. Miranda Hart, comedy actress du jour, has a minor role, which gives you an idea of how long ago the series was made.

Ripley, an actress I have developed an irrational aversion to, is actually very good as Christine, an ex-alcoholic working in human resources who is totally lacking in any resources of her own.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 14th August 2009

Despite every fibre of its being screaming "I am but a competent ITV comedy-drama", Monday Monday is pretty likable. In this second episode Fay Ripley's Christine is in AA and trying to take back control of her working life. That's all well and good, except that she has to deal with a sexual harassment claim against resident office hunk Steven, who also happens to be sleeping with scary chief operating officer Alyson. Awkward. It's so light as to be weightless, but with a great cast (featuring Jenny Agutter, Holly Aird and the charming Morven Christie) it's definitely watchable.

The Guardian, 20th July 2009

If BBC Three's Personal Affairs hasn't put you off office-based comedies forever, try this slightly more pleasing effort from ITV. Set in the Leeds HQ of a failing supermarket group, it sees Fay Ripley lead the charge as the firm's incompetent alcoholic Human Resources manager, Christine, with Morven Christie as Sally - her put-upon PA whose love life is even worse than her work situation. While well-known faces such as Jenny Agutter and Miranda Hart are left largely on the sidelines in this first episode, it's a rare complaint for a sitcom to have too many classy actors, even if the script is fairly mediocre.

Gerard O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 13th July 2009

Fay Ripley (star of Cold Feet and Reggie Perrin) is the best thing about this new series set in the head office of supermarket chain Butterworth's.

As the alcoholic, incompetent head of Human Resources the only reason why she still has a job must be that she's the one in charge of all the hiring and firing. But despite considerable odds, Ripley manages to make an unlikeable and unlikely character human and watchable.

The company has relocated from the capital to Leeds, and a new boss has been brought in to oversee the old boss, but that's where all similarities with The Office end as this only serves up broad cliches of office life.

You'll spot Jenny Agutter as a Battenburg-baking secretary and you might recognise Tom Ellis - Oliver Cousins in EastEnders.

He was the doctor who fell in love with Little Mo and then left Walford for a new job in Leeds. Spookily, that's exactly where Monday Monday is set and his character Steven is the tastiest item on Butterworth's stocklist, being tussled over by his own boss (Holly Aird) and put-upon PA, Sally.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 13th July 2009

Fay Ripley plays a drunken, shambolic mess of a human being in this likeable if lightweight comedy-drama series.

She's Christine Frances, head of human resources at the HQ of a struggling supermarket chain, holding things together only thanks to her trusty yet savagely abused PA, Sally (played by Morven Christie) - and looking as if she's finally facing the chop when a ruthlessly ambitious management troubleshooter (Holly Aird) comes to shake the firm up.

Sally herself, meanwhile, has fallen for hunky Steven (Tom Ellis), the arrogant guy who's personal assistant to this new bigwig - only to find he and bossy-drawers have more than just a working relationship.

A strong cast also includes Jenny Agutter, Neil Stuke, Peter Wight and Saikat Ahamed.

Mike Ward, The Daily Express, 13th July 2009

Interview: Jenny Agutter

The actress tells The Telegraph about her surprising Soho fan club and Monday Monday, the new comedy drama she is starring in.

Serena Davies, The Telegraph, 8th July 2009

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