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'Emma Thompson brought me Chinese food in hospital!' says Last Tango in Halifax star Derek Jacobi

Back in August, TV Times visited Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid during filming to ask what’s in store on Last Tango In Halifax this Christmas...

We hear a mystery person appears and upsets a few people in episode one… 

Anne:" Yes, it’s a cracking opening and I think it’ll really excite the audience. Celia reacts very badly and it throws a serious spanner in the works, as Alan isn’t the person she thought he was…"

Derek: "It causes a great rift between them. They’re both genuinely in despair."

Sally Wainwright has said series three ‘will be a whole new emotional ball game’. Is she referring to this storyline?

Derek: "No, there’s something else too, not involving Alan. But I can’t say!"

Intriguing! But while everything’s up in the air for Alan and Celia, off-screen you’re great friends, aren’t you?

Anne: "He doesn’t come shopping with me or anything, but, yes, we get on really well. Derek’s lovely."

Derek: "Annie and I stay in the same hotel during filming, and most evenings we have dinner, gossip and pick holes in everyone else! We normally see each other when Last Tango’s not filming. In March, I had a very bad accident, I was in hospital for 12 weeks, hence the stick [Derek points to a wooden walking stick propped next to his chair] and Annie came to visit me."

Oh dear. What happened?

Derek:" I was three days into a holiday in the Maldives when I fell down some steps and ruptured the quadriceps on both my legs, meaning my thigh wasn’t attached to my bottom leg. I eventually flew back to London and stayed in the King Edward VII hospital for seven weeks.  Then I was put into rehab in the country for another four weeks before going back to King Edward’s for another week with braces on my legs. I had to have two nurses’ help for every function. In the last two months I’ve been learning how to walk and bend again."

Did you worry you may not recover?

Derek: "I did in seconds of doing it; I knew I’d done something very bad to myself. The pain was awful, I was howling with it. The Last Tango production team have been very supportive and got me a physio here three times a week, and I’m improving as you can see."

Indeed. Anne’s visits must have brighten up your hospital stay a bit?  

Derek: "Yes they did. It’s a very posh hospital and one night I ordered us two gin and tonics!"

Anne:  "The nurse bought them up on a tray. His room was full of balloons and lilacs, and Emma Thompson had been round with Chinese food. That’s not like being in hospital at all!"

Last Tango in Halifax returns on Sunday 28th December at 9pm on BBC1