Sarah Millican: Broadchurch is gently acted by brilliant people

David Tennant and Olivia Colman excel in an intriguing set-up played out tantalisingly

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Crime has always left me cold. Whether it’s the real thing or something a writer has created for us to read or watch on the box. To me it’s still crime and therefore rather distasteful. Did I mention I’m a bit of a prude?

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I always thought I had a strong stomach due to a terrible acne problem with no qualms about squeezing. But then I did work experience in a veterinary hospital where I saw what real pus looked like. I was pale and wobbly for three days until the receptionist said she needed me to label bottles for two days. I could have kissed her.

I always shy away from the details in proper crime stories. I never want to look at anyone’s scar. If I kill a spider, I never reopen the tissue once the deed is done. I don’t even like sniffing milk. So it takes a lot for me to watch a crime series. That’s what I’m saying. And even then I’ll need something to hide behind and potentially some smelling salts to bring me round (anything from Lush works, too).

It’s also good to have a companion who will still watch the ick while you are inspecting the fine stitching on this here cushion. I mean, what is that? Slip stitch? By hand? Oh, I can look up now? Thanks.

I have spoken on this page before about tricking one’s partner into watching YOUR telly programme. Who knew Broadchurch (Mondays ITV) would be such an easy sell? It’s all in the summing up. “It’s got the Doctor and the lady off Peep Show in it?”, I shout from the living room. He comes bundling in, book in hand for safety, thoroughly expecting some kind of comedy sci-fi thing with lots of alien inner monologue.

He’s not disappointed. Not because he got what he wanted (that programme is still begging to be made, though) but because what is there is just very good. Gently acted by brilliant people. An intriguing set-up played out tantalisingly. Crucially, not much ick so far, either.

And as we both remarked during an ad break, where on earth is it filmed? We would definitely like to go on holiday there. Deaths aside, that beach is beautiful. There should be a helpline at the end: “If you’ve been affected by anything you’ve just seen, please contact our helplines for counselling – and advice on the best summer breaks.”


Read our guide to the Dorset behind Broadchurch

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Sarah’s stand-up DVD, Thoroughly Modern Millican Live, is now available at amazon.co.uk