This new sitcom is putting the “fun” into dysfunctional family
The Cockfields, Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 November, 10pm, GOLD HD (CH 124). Also available for 7 days in Catch Up > Channels > GOLD
Comedian Joe Wilkinson (After Life) and his writing partner David Earl (Derek) are putting their spin on a family sitcom. It’s an area they’ve always wanted to cover, because “it is the most recognisable thing in the world”, says Wilkinson.
The result is three-part series The Cockfields, where Simon (Wilkinson) takes his girlfriend Donna (Diane Morgan, Motherland) to the Isle of Wight to meet his family for the first time. “Everyone has done it at some point, introduced a new victim into your world for them to suffer,” says Wilkinson. “The truth is you have to love the other half a hell of a lot to join their gang.”
To celebrate Simon’s big 4-0, a family reunion includes introducing Donna to his doting mother Sue (The Royle Family’s Sue Johnston); stern stepdad Ray (Bobby Ball); absent dad Larry (Nigel Havers) and his new, controlling girlfriend Melissa (Sarah Parish); as well as his celebrity-obsessed stepbrother David (comedian Ben Rufus Green).
What follows are scenes you’ll likely recognise from interactions in your own life – and that’s because they’re all completely real. Wilkinson says everything in the show is based on events that have happened to the cast members. We’d particularly have loved to see the egg and the bread knife scenes play out in real life…
When Wilkinson and Morgan worked together previously, their sketches used to be described as “mundane but surreal”, Morgan says. “Both of us like that kind of humour – based in reality but with something really weird thrown in.”
Luckily, family reunions don’t last forever, and even though you’re stuck with relatives for life, just remember that they have to put up with you just as much as you have to put up with them. Do you think your clan could give the Cockfields a run for their money? Find out in our quiz below to see which fictional TV family yours shares an uncanny similarity to…
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Image credit: The Cockfields © UKTV / Mark Johnson