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TV Interview

Lucy Davis ('Married, Single, Other')

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Lucy Davis ('Married, Single, Other')

Rex Features

She's most famous here for her role as Dawn Tinsley in The Office, but Lucy Davis has gone on to become a regular on mainstream US TV since Brent and co. waved goodbye in 2003. Across the pond she's had roles in shows such as Ugly Betty, Reaper and Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - and now she's back on home soil with a lead role in new ITV1 dramedy Married, Single, Other. Intrigued by her new alter ego - apparently an Alien-esque Sigourney Weaver who believes "marriage is for tw**s" - we called Lucy for a chat.

What's Married, Single, Other all about?
"It's about six people - three guys, three girls - at different stages in their relationships. Once couple is married, two people are single on and off, and myself (Lily) and my partner Eddie are 'other'. We've been together for sixteen years, we have two children, but never married, despite Eddie proposing every single year on her birthday! So it's basically about different stages of relationships and how people get out of them and into them thereby giving a basis for people's everyday lives that we all know."

What's your character Lily like?
"Do you know what? She's been one of my favourites. She's the one I'd most like to emulate. She's feisty and doesn't suffer fools and she believes marriage is for tw**s! She always sticks up for the underdog and is unbelievably lovely and kind and has this umbrella over her family protecting them - she's like Sigourney Weaver in Alien if someone crosses her family!"

Why is she so reluctant to get married?
"She works in a womens' refuge for abused and battered women and I think she perceives that to be the effect that marriage has had on people, so she doesn't want to go down that road. She says to Eddie that she loves him too much to marry him. She feels that what they have is an extremely special relationship. When I read about them I'm like, 'This is a great couple! Does it exist?' They're very bonded, they're friends and they respect each other and have loyalty. I think she thinks it might be ruined if they marry."

Does her attitude change throughout the series?
"There are a couple of things that take her on a journey. One is that she gets bopped on the head by one of the aggrieved husbands of the wives she's looking after. Two is that her son,11-year-old Joe, is absolutely desperate for his mum and dad to marry. He keeps saying 'I don't want to be a b*stard mummy!' Her older son Harry, who's 16, can't imagine anything more embarrassing than going to his own parents' wedding but it's Joe's passion - it's what he lives for - and she discovers something he's made that makes her have a think about things."

So there could be a wedding on the cards by the end?
"You never know!"

Aside from the main six characters, who should we be looking out for?
"Gosh, actually lots! Tom Caine, who plays my son - he's actually 19 but I think he's an amazing actor. Sometimes I'd stop mid-sentence and forget I had more lines because I was going 'Oh, that's lovely - look at his little face!' which is what a 19-year-old-wants to hear! Jack Scanlon, who plays my other son is 11 and he's fabulous as well. I was really lucky that all of them were fab."

Are you working on anything else at the moment?
"We're just starting pilot season..."

Are we going to lose you to the US?
"I hope not! Obviously my husband's there and my home - as in my house - but I loved coming back and working in Leeds. I truly had such a good summer so I really hope not but it's about where work is. Pilot season begins and it's good fun. You have to see the cup half-full most of the time and when things seem ridiculous you've got to rejoice in the farcical-ness of it all!"

Have any scripts caught your eye?
"I read a really great HBO script with Laura Dern - I wish I could remember the name. I've read so many but it's really unusual for one to pop out so it's nice when something does but I don't know if it's going to be picked up yet. We'll have to wait and see. I've been watching FlashForward at the moment with Joe Fiennes. I've really enjoyed it! Maybe I should try for a part in that and wade in with my ideas!"

Married, Single, Other begins tonight at 9pm on on ITV1.

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