Tonight sees the first episode of Cradle to Grave, the rollicking comedy based on Danny Baker’s memoirs.
It’s an action-packed show laced with South London humour, some pretty tall stories and an infectious air of optimism.
And here are the main players…
Peter Kay (plays Fred “Spud” Baker)
Dad Fred, known to all and sundry as “Spud”, is a proud South London docker with a penchant for rackets, fiddles and schemes, hopefully “nice and tasty” ones.
“Donchoo warry abert dat, I’m jas in shtook fernah.” (Translation: Don’t worry yourself unduly, young man, I appear to be in a modicum of trouble at the moment…”)
While it may take a while to get used to Bolton’s finest mouthing a cockney accent, Kay is relishing the idea of playing a family man and taking on a character so far removed from anything he’s done before.
Peter Kay says: “I am thrilled and honoured to be involved in a project of this scale. I’ve never known anything like it before, eight period half-hour episodes, shot as feature films and written to an extremely high standard by Danny Baker and Jeff Pope. It’s an exciting time.”
Where have you seen him before? He has been the driving force behind a number of brilliant TV comedies, most notably Phoenix Nights on Channel 4 and more recently Car Share for the BBC.
Lucy Speed (plays Bet Baker)
Long-suffering mother Bet has to put up with a lot but she’s no pushover – standing up to her husband Spud when the moment requires and keeping her wayward brood in check.
Lucy says: “She is a strong matriarch and she reminds me a lot of my own nan. She has a very humbling quality – I warmed to Bet and loved playing her. In that era they were great at learning how to make a silk purse out of nothing. She is a doer and she knows how to keep Spud in line. You wouldn’t want to upset her either. Like any mum, she goes along with everything but then when the straw breaks the camel’s back, she goes for it. You think, where did that come from? But she is the same as any mum.”
Where have you seen her before? Lucy is best known for playing EastEnders’ Natalie and DS Stevie Moss in The Bill.
Laurie Kynaston (plays Danny Baker)
15 year-old Danny Baker is a cheery lad who likes hanging around with his mates while desperately trying to impress the girls. In other words, he’s a normal kid who grew up to become the motormouth legend that is Danny Baker.
Laurie says: “He is very confident, cheeky and he has this air about him that he knows what is going on. He is in control of things. He is a fun person to play. His confidence is fantastic. He is 15 in the show and right away you see that he is different to the other lads. He knows he is going to go up and up and he is fine with that. He knows he is going to fly.”
Where have you seen Laurie before? As a very young actor he appeared in Doctors and Casualty – but this is his first major role.
Frankie Wilson (plays Danny’s older brother Michael)
A loving big brother, he’s also a confident young man who enjoys winding his brother and sister up when the opportunity arrives.
Frankie says: “I could relate to him 100 per cent. I am a middle child and I could relate to the whole close-knit family situation.”
Where have you seen him before? Frankie has popped up in small roles in Grantchester (as George) and as Frank in Our World War but this is his first major role.
Alice Sykes (plays Danny’s sister Sharon)
Danny’s fun and feisty big sister is another strong character in the Baker household. She also may have some big wedding news round the corner – if she can find a boyfriend that Spud takes to of course…
Alice says: “She has got a fire in her that I definitely have got and she has been through relationships that I definitely have. She gets on well with her dad and I am very close to my parents. I can definitely see a lot of myself in her. She takes care of a lot of people.”
Where have you seen her before? Best known as Ella Miller in Criminal Justice, Alice has enjoyed roles in Midsomer Murders, Holby City and Vera.