The last thoughts and testament of My Family

The last thoughts and testament of My Family
The last thoughts and testament of My Family (Image credit: DLT)

As the Harpers wave goodbye, the four remaining original My Family cast members tell TV Times magazine how the hit BBC1 sitcom has changed their lives... ROBERT LINDSAY (Ben) How has My Family changed your life? "It's made me very high profile, which is something I don't particularly enjoy, as I'm a very private person. But as people love the show everyone I meet is always friendly." What will you miss most? "My working relationship with Zoe." Did cast and crew do anything special to mark the end of filming My Family? "We filmed the 11th and final series over a year and a half ago, and at that point no decision had been made to finish the series. So there was no end of series party or any significance to the last episode. However, Zoe and I both knew in our hearts that we didn't want to do any more and the BBC made it easy for us." And what's your all-time favourite scene? "All my favourite scenes were in the bedroom with Zoe - not for what you might be thinking, but purely because we made each other laugh!" ZOE WANAMAKER (Susan) How has the show changed your life? "I've learned a lot. I'd never done a sitcom before - Robert had done a few, so it was a new genre for me. And I discovered that I have dyslexia. It was something I'd vaguely joked about as an excuse for not being very quick. But then I discovered through the series that it was quite pronounced. It was a good thing to discover and I was very pleased that I did. It was a relief to confront that properly. So now instead of getting myself in a state about it, I'm much more disciplined and relaxed about it." What were your favourite scenes to film? "Robert and I enjoyed the episode where our characters sat in a Docklands flat together as it was slightly surreal. Recently there was an episode about an argument over whether it was the right thing to have a disabled badge. It starred Penelope Wilton, who's a very old friend, so I enjoyed that one very much." So, did you take any mementos from the set? "Yes, but I can't tell you what because they might say they want it back!" DANIELLA DENBY ASHE (Janey) How has My Family changed your life? "Being in the show hasn't changed my life a great deal, however it's taught me a lot both professionally and personally. I've grown up and have met many inspirational people along the way." What was your favourite episode? "The one that sticks out the most is when Janey loses her marbles and has an imaginary husband in A Wife Less Ordinary. Gabs and I had the giggles throughout!" Any challenging scenes? "Probably any scene involving the whole family. One of the more recent was the Christmas episode 2039: A Space Oddity when the whole family is made up to look 30 years older. Janey had put on a tonne of weight so I had to wear a face prosthetic and a fat suit. That was a very long but funny day! We also had a Christmas game to play plus a food fight and those scenes were epic to rehearse and film." Did you take a keepsake on your last day? "Over the years I've brought Janey home with me! I have shoes, jeans, jackets, even my fat suit ... kidding!" GABRIEL THOMSON (Michael) How has the series changed your life? "I started young in acting and never really expected anything serious to happen out of it, at least not until I was an adult. But it became so popular that I found myself growing up on the show! So it has been a big side of my life working with the cast and crew all through my teens, and became more than just a job to me. I've been through it all with that show!" You'll be keeping in touch with your on-screen family then? "Of course. I'll be trying to get them down to see me play Romeo in August [Gabriel is currently touring the country with the GB Theatre Company performing in the Shakespeare plays Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night] though with Bob and Zoe it may be a little daunting! I hear they're quite good at Shakespeare, innit!" Did you take a souvenir home? "I've been taking mementos since day one! Half my own wardrobe is left over costume.... actually maybe that's what I'll miss most - not having to buy clothes!"

Patrick McLennan

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.