Tonight sees a new 6-part comedy, Love and Marriage, air on ITV.
Starring Gavin & Stacey’s Alison Steadman as Pauline Paradise, a retiring lollipop lady who is the head of her crazy and hectic family consisting of her husband Ken (Duncan Preston) and grown up children, Love and Marriage is set to tackle the far-too-common subject of divorce.
Episode one, due to air tonight at 9pm on ITV1, starts on the day that Pauline retires and then subsequently decides to walk out on husband Ken.
Her decision is based on the fact that pretty much no one has even realised that she is retiring, let alone marked the occasion – least of all her husband Silent Ken. When she is later presented with a present from Peter Bachman (Bruce Alexander) Pauline finally decides that she has had enough of being taken for granted at home. Pressure mounts more when, after her father has an accident and she turns to Peter for support, he harshly rejects her – the straw that broke the camel’s back it would seem.
The rest of the series explores the aftermath of her decision whilst showing the shocking effect it has had on her adult children, making them all re-evaluate their own relationships with explosive, emotional but funny consequences.
Discussing her new role in a recent North Wales Weekly interview, Steadman commented:
“She’s putting on the veneer of ‘everything’s fine’, the way one does sometimes in life,
“Pauline decides she’s got to make a change. The kids have got their own lives, her husband doesn’t take any notice of her and she’s just had enough. Sometimes marriages just tick along for years,”
However, the actress, who also starred in the hugely popular 90’s BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, went on to say how she hopes that this new series will encourage people like Pauline to fix their relationships, rather than convince people to get divorced themselves:
“It might make them appreciate each other, not take each other for granted,” she says.
“Hopefully, not only will women think there’s a bit of that in me, but also, perhaps, men will think I had better take more notice of my wife. Say ‘I love you’ or ’Thanks for the meal, it was brilliant’, rather than just eating it and going, ’Right, I’m off to bed’. We all need a wake-up call sometimes.”
On the subject of divorce itself, the actress continued:
“When I was at school there was only one girl in my whole class whose parents were divorced,
“It was shocking and we all felt sorry for her, but now it seems the norm for kids that their parents don’t stay together sadly.
“Divorce is so easy now. It wasn’t years ago, so perhaps we don’t put the value on it that we once did. Maybe for my sons’ generation there’ll be a switch again.”
Love and Marriage can be seen tonight at 9pm on ITV1 / ITV1 HD – watch a clip from tonight’s episode below: