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Birds of a Feather Lesley Joseph: 'When ITV lifts open, my legs open'

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Lesley Joseph is keeping her fingers crossed for a second series of Birds of a Feather following its phenomenal ratings success so far this year.

ITV revived the former BBC sitcom, following a 15-year break, and it has proved to be their biggest comedy hit for a decade.

The 'Birds of a Feather' cast reunite for a new series.

© ITV


Speaking to Digital Spy about the overwhelming success, the Dorien Green actress said: "I'm really thrilled. Before the first episode, all of us were so, so nervous. We were counting down the sleeps and watching in the corner of the room thinking, 'Please like it, please like it'.

"Life has changed, sitcoms have changed, but I think we've tapped into a family audience that probably never really went away."

Commenting on a potential second series, she added: "Everyone is keeping their powder dry until the end of the series. If it suddenly dropped to 2 million by the end of the series, they may think twice. But I'd love to do another series. I don't know if they've had serious discussions, but we'll only hear about it when ITV make an offer and we can then properly talk about it. It would be wonderful though.

"The characters have all got legs still, all of them, especially mine, which have been getting particularly good reviews. I can't complain about that. I have been working hard to make them look good. It's not been easy for a woman of my age to get them looking like this."

Joking about the support that ITV have given the returning sitcom, she laughed: "They've even put us on the lifts at ITV Studios. We're like the new Ant & Dec. On the lifts they have picture of Linda on one side and Pauline on the other and me in the middle. And when the lifts open, my legs open! It's hysterical.

Lesley Joseph in Hot Flush

"Someone pointed it out to me the other day. They said, 'Are you aware that every time I get in the lift at work, the doors open and so do your legs?' It's hysterical. For us to have made it onto ITV's lifts, that's huge. People have sent me pictures of adverts on the tube. We're talking 15 years later. It's scary. How many people get that second chance?

"I love Dorien. I adore her. She's fabulous, She is iconic. She put older women on the map, she put Essex on the map."

Joseph is currently preparing to head out on a nationwide theatre tour again with the comedy musical Hot Flush. She said that she loves working on the "really naughty" show because the theatre provides a thrill that TV can't match.

Lesley Joseph in Hot Flush

"Television is so different. When we do Birds it is only 22 minutes. We do it with a live audience, but you can't improve I think on doing it in a theatre where, if the laughs roll on, you just roll with it," said Joseph.

"There is a routine where I'm wearing just a mac and I go to a herbalist to get something for my mojo. And halfway through the routine my character takes the mac off and she's got a tiny skirt on underneath. It's Dorien-esque.

"One day, I thought, 'Why not go into the audience and sit on a gentleman's lap?' On one occasion it got me into trouble because he wouldn't let go and I couldn't get back on the stage! There were a lot of ad libs that day."

Birds of a Feather continues on Thursday nights at 8.30pm on ITV.

Lesley Joseph will be touring with comedy musical Hot Flush from March 4 to May 23. Find out more at hotflushthemusical.com.

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