She may have been disappointed by the axing of her ITV comedy series Love and Marriage but Alison Steadman has the consolation of a new comedy project, RadioTimes.com can reveal – about an elderly friendship group living in Norfolk.
The star of Gavin & Stacey, Fat Friends and cult 1977 television play Abigail’s Party, is due to film a pilot of the show, called Grey Mates, for the independent producers Hat Trick. Written by Richard Pinto, co-creator of hit Asian sketch show Goodness Gracious Me, the project is being overseen by the BBC.
The roster of Steadman's co-stars has not yet been confirmed but the actress told RadioTimes.com that the show focuses on three couples and that she will play the friendship group’s "chief organiser...the one who bosses everyone about and tells them what they are all doing".
Filming in September, the comedy is nominally set in Hunstanton but many of the scenes will be filmed in an indoor studio.
“After that they will take the pilot episode to the BBC,” said Steadman, who admitted she was “disappointed" that ITV decided not to commission a second series of the comedy Love and Marriage in which she plays a family matriarch hoping for a better life on her retirement.
“Who knows who makes these decisions,” Steadman told RadioTimes.com.
“There are lots of people involved and we just get a Dear John letter. It’s very hard. We loved the series and we really felt like a family. We were sort of banking on it going again. It’s so lovely and we had such a great time and we were terribly sorry not to do another series. All the cast were very sad.
“It was very hard considering how I get recognised a lot for Love and Marriage – people meeting me in the street and saying how much they loved it as well as Gavin & Stacey.”
Steadman said she thought a Gavin & Stacey reprise was unlikely, despite repeated rumours that the award winning show could return after the last episode aired on New Year’s Day 2010.
Steadman was speaking to promote a selection of videos explaining on demand TV service YouView which will be released next month.
“Technology moves so fast I wanted to do something that explained things to people. If they have someone of my generation doing it then that may help.
“I know there are some older people who are up to date but it changes so quickly. I was getting to grips with iTunes and then you hear about Spotify. It can be confusing, especially for people of a certain generation, even if many of us are very up-to-date.”