Friday sees the start of a brand new BBC1 sitcom. Me and Mrs Jones, follows the increasingly complex life of Mrs Jones (Sarah Alexander) as she balances love, affection, sex and motherhood between an ex-husband, one grown-up son, two young daughters and two male admirers with a 20-year age gap
It stars Sarah Alexander (Coupling), Neil Morrissey (Men Behaving Badly), Nathaniel Parker (Merlin), Robert Sheehan (Misfits) and Jonathan Bailey (Leonardo)
When Gemma’s (Alexander) grown up son, Alfie (Bailey) returns from travelling around Asia with Billy (Sheehan) – the friend he met on his travels – Gemma’s already jumbled world turns upside down.
Having lead a date-less single life since her divorce from Jason (Morrissey), Gemma ventures out on a first date with Tom (Parker) – one of the dads from her daughters’ school – only to return home to discover the sexy, young Billy staying in her house. There is a spontaneous romantic spark and Gemma is shocked to find herself having feelings for her son’s best friend. As much as she tries to fight these emotions, she struggles to resist the temptation to fall for him.
However, having embarked on a relationship with Tom, Gemma is torn between the directions her heart and her head are taking her.
Tell us about Me And Mrs Jones
It’s a new comedy for the BBC and it centres around the life of mum, Gemma, who I play. She is very busy. She’s a kind of cat chasing her tail, she’s got three children, two young twins of about ten, a grown up son and an ex-husband…and she spends most of her life running round after them as well as having a job.
How does the story develop between your character and Jason, Tom and Billy?
Well, having spent some years looking after the children and the ex-husband, she hasn’t had much affection coming her way. She hasn’t had much time to spend on herself and suddenly she has these two men in her life who are rather keen. I think because she has been focusing on looking after other people, she’s probably lost a little bit of confidence, she’s lost her identity a bit which women and parents do when they’re consumed with bringing up children, and she doesn’t really know what to do with these affections. There’s Tom, who is the rather handsome, single dad from school, who is lovely and would take care of her and we all think that makes sense. He’s a single parent as well and that would be a very easy union. Then there is this beautiful 24 year old, who is her eldest son’s best friend. She certainly doesn’t ask for it, it just sort of comes her way. Through the series we see her struggling with what to do with it as she becomes more and more fond of him, and he is rather keen on her.
What made you want to be part of this particular project?
It was very interesting to read a comedy which has a female central role. And it’s written by Oriane Messina and Fay Rusling who are brilliant, brilliant female writers who I had worked with before on Smack The Pony and Green Wing. When I saw their names attached to it I thought ‘ooh, that’s going to be exciting’. Then I saw Beryl Vertue was producing it, along with Serena Cullen, and I thought as I know Beryl very well from doing Coupling together, and that was another woman I wanted to work with again. Then there are lots of lovely men in it as well – there’s Neil Morrissey playing my ex-husband, there’s Nathaniel Parker playing the man I possibly go with, then there’s the very lovely Robert Sheehan who is another man I might go with. So it was a heady mix of talent!
What has been your highlight so far? What are the highlights viewers can look forward to?
Well I think the highlight of the series is pretty much all of the series. Being surrounded by these three lovely men, I think people will relate to it. I think parents will relate to it, you see a lot of the stress and trials that you’re under as parents, what you have to juggle – job, work, family. But it is also really funny – we’re telling this story in a really humorous way. Also, it is a love story. It’s a romantic comedy and everybody loves a romantic comedy.
Have you enjoyed working with the director?
I have really enjoyed working with Nick Hurran – he’s a superb comedy director. He really knows what’s funny and truthful. I think that mix in our show is what’s making it special. It’s real but it’s also really funny.
How has making this comedy differed from making other comedies?
For me, this is really what I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. It’s working with people that I really respect, and making a comedy show that I love and would want to watch. It’s quite rare to be in something that you would love to watch as well. I think it’s the mix of being real and having an emotional truth. You really do believe that she’s between making this decision to be with Tom (Nathaniel Parker) or Billy (Robert Sheehan) and it’s a real dilemma.
Me and Mrs Jones begins Friday 12th October at 9.30pm on BBC1.