After 11 years playing grumpy Ben Harper, Robert Lindsay looks to the last ever episode of My Family (opens in new tab)... How do you feel about My Family ending? "Zoe [Wanamaker] and I had already agreed that we didn't want to do any more, but we know people loved it. The popularity of My Family took us all by surprise; it won all kinds of awards and regularly got nine million viewers. We're very proud of it!" Will fans of the show feel the final episode is a fitting send-off? "Well, it doesn't feel like a final episode. When they ended One Foot In The Grave or Friends and there was a big 'finale', but we didn't know the show was finishing." In the final episode, dad Ben is left to look after grandson Kenzo... "This was an idea I gave to the writers because my son locked me out of the house once and wouldn't let me in. Ben has to work out all sorts of methods to get back in, while Kenzo's sat there, drinking his drink and eating his pizza!" Ben has always been quite grumpy. Did you ever take the character home with you? "Well, when the show was axed my son said: 'Thank God he's gone, some days you were really grumpy'. I've been asked to a few dental conferences and when I got the role I was given the chance to give an old lady a filling. She almost hyperventilated when she saw me standing there." Do you think TV still needs shows like My Family? "There is a snobbery about sitcoms like My Family, but I don't think that'll ever go away. But it does seem weird that the BBC said there were too many middle-class comedies, then they make Miranda!" *The final episode of My Family screens on Friday, September 2 at 8.30pm.
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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