A GROUP of showbiz pals are missing their Friday nights out so much that they’re recreating them via Zoom.
Stars including Amanda Holden, Tamzin Outhwaite and Angela Griffin have found not being able to hang out together one of the toughest parts of lockdown, so they’ve been making up for it with a virtual party every week.
Former Coronation Street star Angela reveals: “It’s me, Lisa Faulkner, Nicola Stephenson, Tamzin Outhwaite, Tracy Ann Oberman, Amanda Holden, Sarah Parish and Lucy Gaskell.
“We have cocktails, we’ve done a pub quiz and also played bingo and me, Lisa and Nicola FaceTime each other every day.
“Sometimes we cry, sometimes we laugh, sometimes we moan and sometimes we just have a cup of tea.
“We know we’re lucky that we’ve got gardens, but if lockdown does your head in, it does your head in! It doesn’t matter if you’ve got outside space or not!”
Angela, Tamzin and Tracy Ann are all currently busy working on a pioneering new drama – the first series filmed under the strict rules of lockdown.
The cast, who were isolated as far afield as Brighton, Cheshire and London, couldn’t see each other in the flesh, rehearsed via Zoom and filmed the show on iPhones in their own homes and gardens.
Their husbands, boyfriends and children were roped in to play some of the roles and also help with filming.
Angela says: “The director gave us shot lists. Some of it is quite static, so we fixed the camera up and left it and I put my daughter Tallulah on filming the moving shots.
“It’s all very professional. My husband Jason’s character owns a rat-catching company so he’s been sent a uniform with the logo on the shirt. It’s a real TV show, we’re not messing around.”
The pioneering comedy drama, Dun Breedin’, which starts today on YouTube, tells the story of a group of 50+ female friends all dealing with the menopause.
Dreamt up by Benidorm and Shetland star Julie Graham, it also stars Loose Women favourite Denise Welch.
The 12-part series consists of ten-minute episodes and the cast hope that once it has been seen on YouTube it will be then be commissioned by a mainstream TV channel once lockdown ends.
Angela, 43, says: “It’s such a good script and they’re great characters. It’s also about a subject that’s not particularly explored on TV very often and it’s done in a funny, light-hearted real way. This is my group of friends – this is literally where we are.
“The menopause never gets talked about and there will be a lot of people who want to watch a show like this and see themselves reflected and see themselves portrayed as sexy and beautiful and still living a life, as opposed to being swept under the carpet.
“I’ve started having night sweats myself, or as I call it the Amazon! That started 18 months ago. I thought I was too young for all that, but these things often run in families and I then discovered that my Mum had started the menopause in her early 40s.
“It will be the same with my character. She thinks she’s too young and wants to go into her new life and start partying and actually she ends up hitting the menopause.”
Angela, who lives in north London with husband Jason and their two daughters Tallulah, 15 and Missie, 12, plays mum-of-two Susie.
“She’s a hedonist,” she says. “She had kids when she was a teenager, they have grown up and flown the nest and she’s really happy about it.
“She’s a gossip, she’s mouthy and she’s fun. She smokes likes a trooper, she swears like a trooper and she drinks like a trooper. She’s living the life she missed out on and she’s going hell for leather at it.
“My husband Jason is going to be playing my lover, which is really interesting! He’s already married and I’m having an affair with him, so that might spice up all sorts!”
Dun Breedin’ will be available to view on YouTube from 3pm on April 30th.
Further new episodes will drop on Mondays and Thursdays.
You can also help Dun Breedin’ to raise funds to support The Trussell Trust at: www.justgiving.com/dunbreedin