Birds of a Feather’s Charlie Quirke and Samuel James. ‘We go out together outside work and get on really well!’

There’s a difficult funeral and plenty more adventures for Travis and Garth when Birds of A Feather returns to ITV (Thursday January 7, 8.30pm). What’s On TV’s Nick Cannon caught up with Charlie Quirke and Samuel James, who play the brothers, to find out more and to hear about their growing friendship off screen…

Was it easy to get back into your brotherly bond for this series?

Samuel: “Yes because we’re mates now. We work together but we also go out outside work as well. It makes the job easier and it makes the relationship between Garth and Travis that much more believable because we genuinely get on really well. It’s really nice.”

The first episode sees the funeral of the boys’ dad, Darryl. How are they coping with his death?

Charlie: “Travis is bothered, obviously, but he only met him five times, so Darryl wasn’t really a dad to him. So he’s more upset for Garth and his mum and he really helps them through it. He ends up becoming like the man of the house – he’s definitely a lot more grown up this series. But Garth takes it all to heart and struggles to deal with his loss.”

Garth makes a shrine for Darryl, doesn’t he?

Samuel: “Yes, he has this idea to use part of the decoration on the hearse, which is a big garish sign, to create a permanent shrine in the garden! Obviously that doesn’t go down too well with his mum, but they reach a compromise that she’s willing to tolerate.”

Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp plays Darryl’s gangster mate Vince in the first episode. What was it like working with him?

Charlie: “We were in a scene with him, but unfortunately we didn’t have any dialogue with him. I did go up to him and tell him that The Krays was one of my favourite films, though! But his scenes are really funny.”

Do either of them have any love interest this time around?

Charlie: “Yes, Travis does! It was nice because in the past he’s always bottled it with girls. He’s always been the cute little kid, but he falls in love with a girl Emma, played by Lucy Dixon, who was in Hollyoaks and Waterloo Road. He definitely becomes more of a man this series. But unfortunately there’s no love interest for Garth, bless him!”

And how about any dealings with the police?

Samuel: “Yes, there are dealings with the police, but what do you expect from a criminal family? As you can imagine, Darryl’s funeral isn’t exactly populated by model citizens so it kind of intertwines with that! “

What’s Travis’ relationship with Dorien like this series?

Charlie: “They’ve always had a good relationship. But there are moments when she says she’s fond of Travis and it gets a bit close to the knuckle. They end up falling out, which Travis isn’t the catalyst of, but something happens that puts a wedge between them.”

Charlie, your mum, Pauline Quirke, plays Sharon. Do you still find it strange working with her?

Charlie: “It’s been so long now that as soon as we walk on set we’re just Travis and Sharon – until the lunch break when she’ll put a jacket potato in the oven for me! But it’s definitely second nature now working with her now, and it’s really nice because I have a lot more scenes with her this series.”

Birds of a Feather begins on ITV on Thursday January 7 at 8.30pm

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.