“It’s Like a Wacky Bad Girls” OTB Meets ‘Dead Boss’s Aisling Bea..

“If you were to watch Dead Boss with the sound down, it might look like an episode of Bad Girls — If it was a particularly silly day in the prison,â€? actress and comedian Aisling Bea explains to me.

She’s clocked up roles in Channel 4’s underground hit Cardinal Burns, Come Fly with Me and now BBC Three’s Dead Boss, an upcoming sitcom from Sharon Horgan (the much-missed Pulling) and stand-up comedienne Holly Walsh, that’s set in a prison. Comedy veteran Jennifer Saunders also stars.

“The script and the people attached to it were great,â€? Aisling explains. “I didn’t know Sharon Horgan before I auditioned, but I was very familiar with her, considering she’s an Irish comedian, like myself. We look very similar and so when I saw that it was for the part of Laura I was like, ‘It’s mine!’â€?

Laura is the sister of Helen, a women imprisoned for the murder of her boss. But as Helen maintains, she’s innocent and apart from being arrested once for unwittingly drink-driving (believing “sangriaâ€? was Spanish for Fanta) she’s never really done anything wrong.

“Laura is happy that Helen’s inside,â€? Aisling says. “She’s moved into her flat, taken her job, her friends, her pub quiz team. She’s completely soulless, which was a lot of fun to play.â€?

Aisling tells me that the series differs from a lot of comedy shows in that it relies heavily on a story-arc, making it essential to watch the episodes in the correct order.

“In that respect,â€? she says, “it’s more like some American shows like Arrested Development. I think that tonally, it’s quite similar, with these very big, hopefully memorable characters. It’ll be much wackier than most people are expecting it to be.â€?

Was it daunting for her working with such a great cast?

“Well, my parts were filmed outside the prison, so I didn’t see Jennifer Saunders parts being filmed,â€? she says. “The whole of the cast were at the read-throughs, though, which were really hilarious to be at.â€?

Aisling insists that while the show’s subject matter is darker, the show itself is just plain full-out silly.

“I’d describe it as joyfully wacky,â€? she says. “It doesn’t have some kind of deeper message, but it’s also not like, ‘I’m making a gag here!’ It’s just very, very funny.â€?

I ask Aisling if she can give away any more of the plot, but she smiles and shakes her head.

“Hmmm. I can’t really tell you much without giving too much away,â€? she says. “But let’s just say things get a bit saucy in episode four for my character—literally.â€?

Dead Boss starts Thursday 14th June, 10:30 on BBC Three. You can catch Aisling in Fit, an upcoming series from the Horrible Histories crowd, set to include cameos from David Walliams and Peter Serafinowicz.

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