Walking And Talking. Image shows from L to R: Mary (Aimee-Ffion Edwards), Kath (Ami Metcalf). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions
Walking And Talking

Walking And Talking

  • TV comedy drama
  • Sky Atlantic
  • 2012
  • 4 episodes (1 series)

Comic series about Kathy Burke's childhood, written by the star following the success of her 2010 Little Crackers short. Stars Ami Metcalf, Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Kathy Burke, Sean Gallagher and Jerry Sadowitz

Press clippings

Joyous from the off, as usual, tonight's penultimate episode begins with a fully super-animated sequence to Pop Music by M. Kath and Mary tackle the knotty issues of homosexuality, lecherous ice-cream men and love. And they go on a "field trip" to see the house where Joe Orton got his head smashed in. It's arguably the best thing on TV at the moment, made with such vim and joy and fun, while the two leads are infectiously funny and totally believable. Four episodes is not nearly enough.

Julia Raeside, The Guardian, 8th July 2012

Kathy Burke's Walking And Talking, Sky Atlantic, review

Kathy Burke's drama about her teenage years in 1970s London very funny and oddly uplifting, writes Martin Chilton.

Martin Chilton, The Telegraph, 3rd July 2012

An offering from Sky Atlantic which is tempting Sky1 viewers is this new sitcom starring and co-written by Kathy Burke.

Set in 1979, Walking and Talking is an autobiographic sitcom in which Kath, played by Ami Metcalf, walks from school with her best friend Mary (Aimee-Ffion Edwards) and talk about their worries and everyday goings on.

Personally speaking, I found the actual walking and talking to be the least appealing bit. In fact I found it mostly dull and uninteresting, but maybe that's because I wasn't around in 1979 to experience what 'life was like back then.'

However things started to get interesting when the senior performers come to the forefront. These segments include conversations between two nuns that work at the school, played by Burke herself and Sean Gallagher in drag, and the worrying encounters the two girls have with local nutter Jimmy the Jew (Jerry Sadowitz).

It was a strange role for Sadowitz, but he was absolutely amazing. You don't tend to see him act that often, which he clearly can do by what I've seen. But the profanities were absent here too, which is certainly odd to those who've seen his stand-up. But despite this, he is still as intimidating and menacing. He plays the character perfectly.

Walking and Talking isn't perfect, but it certainly has its moments. No doubt it can be tightened up in various ways to iron out some of the minor issues...

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 2nd July 2012

Kathy Burke's autobiographical four-parter Walking and Talking, in which two 14-year-old girls walk the streets of punky north London in the 1970s, talking almost as swiftly as the cast of Veep about boys, alcoholic dads, weight problems and boys. It sounds slight, but it's given extra oomph by the terrific Jerry Sadowitz as the "fruit and nut case" Jimmy the Jew, and Burke as a misanthropic nun, who embarks on a terrific take-down of her fellow sister's appreciation of Boney M.

It might have been the least slick of the three shows, but it was also perhaps the most genuine, giving a real sense of Burke's childhood fears and thrills. And it's well worth catching by those 10 million of you who do have Sky Atlantic.

Robert Epstein, The Independent, 1st July 2012

Kathy Burke the writer, source and inspiration for Walking and Talking, corsets herself selflessly into a small yet lovely cameo as, basically, "angry smoking fecking Irish nun", who manages, while discussing Top of the Pops in a concrete Islington playground in 1979, overseeing children she hates, to reduce a fellow nun to hot salt tears over, of all things, the Teutonic origins of Boney M. Wonderful.

Mainly, however, Burke lets the phenomenal young Ami Metcalf recreate Burke's own adolescence with (from both talents) honesty and pluck and wit, verisimilitude and yearning. It's shot in a lovely leached-bone white, which wasn't all of 1979 but well, OK, most of it. Young Kathy (likes Keith Waterhouse, Play for Today, Porridge; hates wasps, Thatcher, dad when drunk, nuns) and her friend Helen debate fatness, chat-up lines and down-there stuff in a way which would now have them cautioned or sectioned or weeping on morning TV, and is as wizardly refreshing as the wind blowing through your armpit hair on holiday. The most uplifting thing yet this year, and young Kathy hasn't even got her trainer bra.

Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 1st July 2012

Walking and Talking, Kathy Burke's new series, is essentially constructed out of Kath and Mary's walk home from school. Kath has the details of Burke's own childhood - alcoholic father, no mother and a tendency to score higher for Personality than Looks when her friends fill in the teen-mag love questionnaires. But this is played lightly here, not as emotional ballast. Kath introduces herself as a bundle of enthusiasms - for X-Ray Spex, Keith Waterhouse, Kes and Play for Today - and the mood is consistently sweet and innocent. When her friend Mary questions the knowledge of an older boy at school, Kath - the more knowing of the two - replies: "He's 18, Mary. Of course he knows everything!" Like Welcome to the Places of My Life, it's a bit all over the place formally, dropping in animations and sketch-like sequences featuring two nuns (one of whom is played by Burke herself). But the mood is consistent throughout - deeply affectionate for the child she was.

Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent, 26th June 2012

Kathy Burke's Walking and Talking is a charming semi-autobiographical comedy which adroitly captures the certainty and confusion of adolescence. Set in [y]979[/y], it follows an ambling conversation between two teenage friends on their way home from school, occasionally interrupted by cameos from Burke herself as a belligerent nun, and cult comedian Jerry Sadowitz as - surely not? - a ranting Glaswegian lunatic. It's a slight yet gently amusing affair.

Paul Whitelaw, The Scotsman, 26th June 2012

Interview: Kathy Burke, comedian and actress

She'll never write her autobiography, but talented actress Kathy Burke plays her teenage self - minus the horrible bits - in a new TV series.

The Scotsman, 25th June 2012

It's the 70s, so everything is a bit brown and Life on Mars. Busby-haired "Kaff", who is 14 and lippy, pogos around her bedroom to X-Ray Spex. This is the young Kathy Burke, as remembered by the actress for a new four-part series.

The sitcom follows the tomboyish teen (a superb Ami Metcalf) and best mate Mary as they amble around the streets of Islington. Co-starring Burke as Angry Nun and Jerry Sadowitz as Jerry the Jew, it's a total delight, with realistic rhythms of girl talk, and a smile of a soundtrack.

Mark Braxton, The Mirror, 25th June 2012

Having made its debut in Sky1's Little Crackers series of short films from 2010, Kathy Burke's slight but charming autobiographical musings return for a four-part series, with the adolescent Kath and best pal Mary as played by Ami Metcalf and Aimee-Ffion Edwards. It's virtually a two-hander, barring an exchange from her two bewimpled teachers and a puzzling cameo from Jerry Sadowitz, so a huge amount rests on the dialogue and performances. Burke's script invokes the comedy of recognition easily enough, as the awkward teens rail against the frequently baffling yet strangely enticing adult world of French toast, pubs and romance. But the genuine warmth of their relationship owes a huge amount to the young actors: Metcalf and Edwards are both wonderful, and reason enough alone to tune in.

Gabriel Tate, Time Out, 25th June 2012

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