I’m in love with a socially nightmarish, scatterbrained, generally confused lady called Kelly.
She borrows her boyfriend’s mum’s knickers on the day of her husband’s funeral and talks to foxes in the garden, genuinely wondering whether they might talk back.
Kelly is one of the star characters of BBC2’s sitcom Mum, played by Lisa McGrillis – and if you’ve seen any of the episodes so far you’ll probably be pretty infatuated too. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out.
The character, written by Him & Her creator Stefan Golaszewski, is the ideal mix of totally, absolutely clueless yet surprisingly loveable.
And McGrillis plays Kelly so hilariously that I would devour a spin-off show about her braving the world.
When talking about her new job in Sainsbury’s, she suggests that it’s a good career path because soon she could a manager, and then, you know, maybe the owner?
McGrillis wasn’t an actor I knew, but I’ll be following her work closely now. I’ll probably watch an ad for nose hair clippers if she’s in it. The British actor has done lots of big theatre productions, starred in Inspector George Gently and notably, as the funny Vicki in Tyne and Wear- set 2012 sitcom Hebburn.
“You’re never too old for a bit of romance,” Kelly tells Cathy, her boyfriend’s good-natured widowed mother (Lesley Manville). “You know nowadays? People ‘make love’ well into their 60s. I saw a programme about it.
“Disgusting,” she adds with a wide-eyed grin, like a child who’s just seen a gory horror film they weren’t supposed to.
Yet what’s really impressive about the performance (and of course, the writing) is that the joke isn’t always on ditzy Kelly – we’re often laughing with her as she laughs, slightly nervously, at how utterly strange the world is.
McGrillis definitely deserves some sort of comedy award for Kelly, the most enjoyable character I’ve seen on TV in a good while. Most of what she says is ridiculous – yet somehow you’re left wondering whether she’s actually making total sense.
Like, maybe foxes really can speak English?