Last Tango in Halifax’s Anne Reid says we should be “worried” for Celia and Alan’s marriage

The Years and Years actress, who plays the strong-minded Celia opposite Derek Jacobi's Alan, hints that there's trouble in paradise for the childhood sweethearts

Last Tango in Halifax series 5

They may hold different political views and read different newspapers (his is The Guardian, her’s The Daily Mail), but Last Tango in Halifax’s Celia and Alan – childhood sweethearts who reunited later in life – always seemed to be soulmates.


However, Anne Reid (Years and Years), who plays the strong-minded Celia in the returning BBC One drama, has revealed that there may be trouble ahead for the couple’s marriage in series five…

Asked whether she believed viewers should be “worried” for their relationship, Reid said: “Yes. It’s quite interesting… I love the fact that he [Alan, played by Derek Jacobi] fell in love with this pretty girl of 16, and they didn’t get together and [he] has had fantasies about her, you know – maybe we’ve all got somebody that we met when we were young and we think, ‘oh, what would have been like if I’d married them’ – and he’s just fantasised about her off and on. And then he meets her and he marries her and he finds out what she’s really like!”

Speaking at the premiere of the new series, Reid added that the power dynamic between Celia and Alan has shifted. “I think in the beginning she always had the upper hand because he was so besotted when they first met,” she explained, “and now after seven years he’s not quite so besotted when they first met [in their seventies]. And I think she’s the one who would die if he left her.”

Series five, written by the show’s creator Sally Wainwright, sees Celia and Alan clash over the latter’s new supermarket job, while Alan’s brother Ted has returned home from New Zealand and seems determined to stay…


Last Tango in Halifax returns soon on BBC One