Actress Sarah Parish, aka disgraced former GP Katie in Mistresses, talks nudity, girlfriends and turning 40… We're so pleased Mistresses is back. What's it like to work on? "I love it. I really like the fact it's not about four models. I'm not saying we're not hot, but we're normal women and the situations, although heightened, are based in reality. I also enjoy working with girls. That's why I loved doing Cutting It, too, because we just had a lot of fun." Are you still in touch with your Cutting It co-stars? "I've stayed friends with lots of them, including Amanda Holden, Sian Reeves and Lucy Gaskell. We had three days in Norfolk for Amanda's hen weekend and her wedding was great fun. We see each other every two months in London for dinner. Now I've got the Mistresses girls, too." Do you get to socialise much during filming? "Absolutely. This time they gave us apartments in the same house so it was lovely to be able to knock on each other's doors and share a bottle of wine. Orla Brady's flat was the one we gravitated to. She had biggest lounge, so that saw a bit of a red wine battering." How do you feel about the sex scenes in Mistresses? "It's really funny. Everybody assumes Mistresses must be raunchy, but actually it isn't because you never see anything, not even a bottom. TV companies always want actors to be more naked, but they didn't ask us to do more because they must have known we wouldn't." Do you think more nudity would distract viewers from the story? "I just don't think it adds anything. When I'm watching telly and I see a sex scene with actual boobs and bums, that's all I see for the next hour." Would you never strip off then? "I did do it in a drama called Recovery with David Tennant, but it was about a wife whose husband had brain damage and she was teaching him how to put his pants on, and it was really touching. But of course the papers got hold of it and there was a big picture of our bottoms!" Would you like to work with David Tennant again? "I've worked with him three times – in Blackpool, Recovery and Doctor Who – and I would love to do so again because we're good friends. But I don't know if we'll ever be employed together again now. You never know, though, maybe when we're in our sixties." How did you feel about turning 40 last year? "I love being 40. As I get older, I seem to enjoy each year more and more. You worry and obsess about age so much, especially in this industry and surrounded by all these magazines saying you have to look like this or that, but as you get older, you just don’t care as much. I like that." Do you have any acting ambitions left? "I'd love to do more comedy. It would have to be the right kind of comedy because there are a lot of things I don't find very funny." So which comedies do you like? "I love things like Lead Balloon and those quite dry, slow comedies with brilliant characters. I'd love to do something like that." Get exclusive access to your favourite stars. Subscribe to TV Times magazine (opens in new tab)
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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