Comedy drama following the life of a family looking after their learning disabled nine-year-old girl, starring David Tennant and Jessica Hynes
When BBC4 does comedy it tends to be brilliant – think Detectorists and Twenty Twelve.
This series about parents raising a learning-disabled child isn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but it is life-affirming, brilliantly acted and honest.
Don’t expect this to be politically correct: it’s a frank look at writer Shaun Pye’s own life and every scene is taken from his experience of raising his little girl and the emotions that came with it.
Here, David, 47, and Jessica, 45, tell TV Times more…
What made you want to be a part of this series?
David I was so moved by it when I first read it; it was unlike anything I’d ever seen.
It seemed so honest and candid. I knew Shaun a bit but I had no idea that this was his life. It’s a story that needs to be told.
Jessica Parenthood changes you and, although this story is about a very specific experience, some of the emotions were just so relatable.
As parents we all feel like we’re failing and we look at other people thinking, ‘Oh, they’re so happy and brilliant,’ but actually most people find it difficult.
There’s a conspiracy of silence but there is another side to it, and this series goes there.
It’s a very emotional subject but the series is a comedy – how crucial was it for this story to be told with humour?
Jessica I think it’s important to tackle absolutely everything with humour, there’s nothing that doesn’t benefit from it.
David We never felt that we were making a BBC comedy particularly – there was never a pressure to have a laugh every three minutes.
This is Shaun and his family’s real life, we’re not trying to give an objective perspective of life with disability – no scenes in the show are made up – so we just tried to tell the story as it is.
See the full interview in this week's TV Times on sale on 9 October.
TV Times rating: ****
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