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Harry Hepple: ‘There are unexpected twists and a proposal in the second series of Boy Meets Girl’

Harry Hepple and Rebecca Root in Boy Meets Girl

What's on TV talked to star Harry Hepple about series two of BBC2's transgender romcom Boy Meets Girl and the twists and turns Leo and Judy face

Boy Meets Girl star Harry Hepple reveals what’s in store for Leo and transgendered Judy in the second series of the BBC2 comedy, which includes a marriage proposal and plenty of family meddling…

How are things between Judy and Leo as the second series kicks off? “The last series was about how a straight lad like Leo got together with Judy who’s transgendered, but this series is about how they stay together.

"They’re now living with Judy’s mum Peggy (Janine Duvitski), but when Leo is offered a great job in London they must decide how their relationship can still work – is it going to be a long-distance thing, or will they both move to London? Then there are some fears over Peggy’s health in the first episode, which they have to consider.”

So plenty of ups and downs for them throughout this series then..? “Yes, unexpected twists and turns. But there are also shocks for their families and sometimes it’s harder-hitting than you’d expect from a light-hearted comedy. Leo proposes to Judy in the first episode, but lots of things get in their way, and a lot of that is down to their families.”

Are Leo’s family now more comfortable with his relationship with Judy (Rebecca Root)? “Yes they’ve now accepted them as a couple, but they’re dealing with it in their own way. His mum, Pam, had the most difficulties, where as his dad took it more in his stride. This series moves things on in a completely different way.”

So how is Leo’s mum Pam (Denise Welch) coping? “She’s now attending a trans support group, and she has some hilarious scenes there. Later in the series, through this group, and Judy, a new trans character Charlie (Tyler Luke Cunningham) comes into Pam’s life, who becomes integrated into the family.

"Charlie’s is a great story. This series tells more than just the one trans story with different struggles, and the introduction of Charlie is just inspired.”

How is it working with Denise Welch and Janine Duvitski, who play the mothers? “They are both so brilliant, and amazingly talented. They both have such a wealth of work behind them I’ve learnt so much about comedy and acting just by watching them at work. They’re mesmerising and I’ve absorbed so much and hopefully improved my performance by being in this show with them. Their technical ability and how generous they are has been a godsend for me.”

Do you have problems with corpsing on set? “Yes I’m the worst one, especially in scenes with Janine as Peggy and Jonny Dixon as Leo’s brother James - he has me in stitches. I think they’ve given me less scenes with Jonny this year for the sole reason that he makes me laugh so much and it’s difficult to get the filming done!”

What’s been the reaction to Leo and Judy and Boy Meets Girl from people you’ve met? “It’s all been very positive. I get stopped on trains by people who adore them as a couple and love the show! Although Boy Meets Girl is groundbreaking in one sense, it’s basically a romantic comedy so quite a familiar formula. I take that as a massive win. It’s taken the sitcom format and given it a transgender narrative, so the show has a wider audience who might never have tuned in…”

Do people think it’s realistic that a straight guy would get together with a transgender woman? “There are definitely relationships like Leo and Judy’s. People can be really accepting of all kinds of differences. It’s totally viable that a love like theirs should and does happen. I think in this series you’ll see Leo and Judy experiencing the same relationship problems as any couple face.”

Do you stay in touch with Rebecca outside of filming? “Yes we’re in touch all the time, and there are plenty of events we’re invited to. In fact a lot of the cast stay in touch frequently. We’re good friends.”

Boy Meets Girl series two premieres on BBC2 on Wednesday, July 6 at 9pm

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