What to expect from Witless series two: frenetic humour as Leanne and Rhona go on the run

Zoë Boyle and Kerry Howard are back as uptight Rhona and enthusiastic Leanne

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The first series of Witless saw flatmates Leanne (Kerry Howard) and Rhona (Zoë Boyle) forced into a witness protection programme after seeing a brutal gangland murder.

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Now, series two will see the ill-suited double act facing an even bigger scrape, as their ‘safe-house’ is no longer safe – and the police are not to be trusted. It’s time to go on the run.

So what do we know about series two?

It’s more intense than series one…

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Zoë tells RadioTimes.com: “It takes on this frenetic energy. The whole series takes place over four days so it’s really, really fast-paced. And the stakes kind of go up quite a lot, because we get introduced to more of the gang members who are really scary, so the panic levels rise, and Leanne and Rhona – they kind of go on the front foot, and sort of take charge of their situation a little bit more.”

There are no more crafternoons for enthusiastic “puppy-dog” Leanne, and uptight Rhona is having to learn how to loosen up a bit. 

Kerry – who is the younger sister of comedian Russell Howard – says: “The characters don’t really have time to procrastinate or think or miss home. They are in imminent danger all the time and they’re running constantly, so it’s a big action thriller comedy. A bit tense.”

…But it’s still funny

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With all that action and tension, it would be easy to lose the humour that made the first series so good. But writers Joe Tucker and Lloyd Woolf haven’t forgotten that this is first and foremost a comedy.

“Out of the heavy moments, the writers are really clever,” Kerry explains. “They’ll just pop in one line or it’ll be so ridiculous that it acts as a relief. The comedy, it’s accessed quite easily in these situations, because the characters are so well-established in series one that you believe Leanne would react to a certain situation like that.”

Choice line from Rhona as she stands over Jackie’s body: “I’ve got blood on my hands, like Blair only without the property portfolio!”

It starts exactly at the point where the last series finished 

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Talking of Jackie’s body, the series picks up where we left off. Rhona and Leanne realise they have accidentally shot Jackie through the door. 

“There was a year between it, and I knew that they were going to pick up straight off after we left,” Kerry says. “So we were both anxious, going, ‘Oh god our skin will have aged a year!’ Because usually they’re time-lapsed and people allow you to age, so we were both kind of panicking.

“And then they did a screen grab and we both looked exactly the same, so we were just like, ‘Ahhh! Reassuring.’ Okay that’s fine, we can just have fun with this show.”

Zoë, who has previously played Matthew’s fiancée Lavinia in Downton Abbey, adds: “It was like no time had passed. All the crew were the same, same director, same set, same costumes, everything. We were just like: this is like Twilight Zone, where either no time has passed or we’ve gone back in time.”

There could be a third series

Will we see Leanne and Rhona again?

“We bloody hope so,” says Zoë. “I think there’s load of potential, and on set every day we’re coming up with new ideas for where the show could go. Series two definitely leaves you wanting more, and there’s plenty more escapades that the girls could get themselves into. So fingers crossed we’ll hopefully see them again for a third series.”

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Witless launches online on BBC Three on Wednesday 25th January