Trying Again. Image shows from L to R: Meg (Jo Joyner), Matt (Chris Addison). Copyright: Avalon Television
Trying Again

Trying Again

  • TV comedy drama
  • Sky Living
  • 2014
  • 8 episodes (1 series)

Sky Living comedy drama about a man whose fiancée has had an affair with her boss. Stars Chris Addison and Jo Joyner. Stars Chris Addison, Jo Joyner, Charles Edwards, Alun Cochrane, Elizabeth Berrington and more.

Elizabeth Berrington interview

Trying Again. Image shows from L to R: Meg (Jo Joyner), Matt (Chris Addison). Copyright: Avalon Television
Trying Again. Gail (Elizabeth Berrington). Copyright: Avalon Television

Elizabeth Berrington talks about the essential ingredients needed to make a comedy show...

Gail is very outspoken. Is it fun playing that type of character?

It's so much fun. She's the opposite of me in that respect. I have my outspoken moments when I say it like it is but I'm not like that all the time. She's very direct. Simon Blackwell and Chris Addison have created her so, of course, she's very funny and has a great turn of phrase. She's unconventional and amusingly rude.

What sort of sister is Gail to Matt?

She's loyal. Matt and Gail are very different personalities, so to a bloke like Matt she's very hard work. You never know what she's going to do or say next, which can make Matt uncomfortable. On the flip side of that, he might admire how uninhibited she is. They socialise too, so they're really rather close.

She's clued in to what's happened between Matt and Meg. Has her relationship with Meg changed as a result?

I don't think so. She's a very realistic person who gets that relationships have hiccups. She says in the first episode that she strongly believes that Meg and Matt are made to be together. Meg's had a wobble but in the big scheme of things it doesn't really matter. All is forgiven and she understands that people are naturally flawed and that infidelity isn't the worst thing you can do.

The couple end up staying with Gail. What sort of host is she?

Dreadful. There's no milk, no toilet paper and the place is a mess. She plays her music too loud as well. She loves having them around because they do the cooking.

Gail's a driving instructor. Do you remember learning to drive?

I was horrendous. I thought I'd be a natural and the lessons would be a breeze, but when it came to it I'd be drenched in sweat from the second I got in until the end. It would have been so much worse if I had a teacher like Gail. I'd have hated her attitude and sacked her. You see Gail with one client, Ryan, so maybe she only takes on students that no one else wants or that she can boss around.

Trying Again. Image shows from L to R: Sam (Alun Cochrane), Gail (Elizabeth Berrington). Copyright: Avalon Television

Ryan has a soft spot for Gail, as does Sam. What do you think it is about Gail that is reeling in the younger men?

Well she's obviously very attractive. The way Ethan plays Ryan, he makes him seem like the sort of boy who doesn't come into contact with the opposite sex very often, so he's probably excited about being in a confined space with a woman.

Gail enjoys a rather raucous relationship with Sam. Could romance blossom between them?

Maybe. She enjoys the flirting so Gail could see it as promising.

Have you admired Simon Blackwell's previous work?

Absolutely. He is at the top of his game. Whether you're in a drama or comedy, you need the best quality writing to be able to invest in a character. It's the same scenario with Stella. Ruth Jones' writing creates strong, clear characters so you can tap into who they are. When the rhythm of the writing is perfect, the comedy just works.

Having starred in so many successful comedies, including Stella, what would you say are the essential ingredients to a top comedy?

Jokes are a good place to start, but you also need truth and warmth. Comedy dramas often go wrong when they're full of gags and completely removed from reality. Those heightened situations have such credence because the comedy is believable and you can identify with it.

Gail has some fantastic one-liners. Do you have a favourite?

She does have some great gags, I love all the Gail and Ryan interactions. They're a bit blue. My favourite line of the series isn't actually one of Gail's. There's a scene with her, Matt and Meg in a steakhouse. They order sausage and chips, then Gail encourages them to splash out because it's her treat, so the pair of them immediately change their minds to steak, and one orders it rare, running with blood "like Leeds on a bank holiday".

Trying Again. Gail (Elizabeth Berrington). Copyright: Avalon Television

If you could be stuck in a car with anyone, who would it be?

If I could be in a car with Dan Skinner and Alex Macqueen, I'd be thoroughly entertained the entire time.

How was working in the Lake District?

Lovely. We worked in central Kendal mainly so we didn't get to see quite so much of the scenery as I would have liked. A number of years ago I was in a BBC show called The Lakes and I spent a lot of time up there, so it was great to revisit.

How important is it that Sky is producing more original series?

It's brilliant. Sky is taking risks. It is finding great writers and providing them with a creative space. Sky doesn't box and prepare the ideas for writers. It lets talented people do what they do best with 100% backing and support and that's how you get entertaining TV.

Published: Tuesday 22nd April 2014

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