Sarah Alexander Interview

Sarah Alexander

Q: The first series of Marley's Ghosts was the second highest8rated show on Gold last year. What drew viewers to it, do you think?

A: From the beginning, I was attracted by the premise of the programme. It's so original. The "sit" of the sitcom is a woman who has to live with three ghosts and the endless problems that conjures up. We haven't seen anything like it before. It's brilliant.

Q: Where is Marley at the beginning of this second series?

A: She's trying to move on, but the ghosts keep stalling her. She has moved house and has new neighbours she is trying her best to get on with. After her difficulties with her last neighbours, this time she is trying to show that she is sane!

Q: How would you describe Marley?

A: She is very loving and she cares about her ghosts. But at the same time, she realises she's in a place where she needs to put herself first. She is a little bit kooky and scatty, but she probably wouldn't be if she didn't have ghosts in her life. They really screw things up! She is confused, but she does have a lot to contend with.

Q: How do the three ghosts react to the idea of Marley moving on?

A: Not well! They're still in limbo. They can't move on - they are as they always were. It's difficult for Marley. She is struggling, but she has to be allowed to move on. As she says to the ghosts, "You haven't got a life - but I have!"

Q: How do Adam and Michael respond when Marley starts dating?

A: They get jealous. Adam is especially intolerant of her trying to move on. He's extremely resistant to the idea of having other men in her life. As she is getting ready for her date, she is asking him for his advice. It's a very funny situation.

Q: How do things unfold?

A: The date comes to Marley's home and kisses her while the ghosts are still there. It's horrific for her and them. It's so tough for Marley. She wants to move on, but Adam is still right there. What's the alternative, though? It would be completely stagnant and life would not be progressing if she just looked after these three infantile ghosts forever!

Q: How does Marley view Adam now?

A: Funnily enough, he is a better husband as a ghost than he ever was when he was alive. For a start, he's not drunk any more. He also thinks more about her now. They hang out in a way they never did before. It's quite confusing for Marley. At one point, she says to him, "The problem is you can't hold me."

Q: Tell us about Marley's relationship with Michael.

A: Michael is quite lazy. As long as he has his pals, he just goes with the flow. As a modern man, he is more willing than Adam to acknowledge Marley's needs. He is more flexible than Adam, but he still enjoys winding him up. If Adam is upset about something, Michael will always take the opposite view.

Q: How does Marley get on with the Vicar?

A: Their relationship is great. They can be a girl gang together. It's a chance to bring out the girl in Marley. With the Vicar, she doesn't always have to be the one solving all the problems or having to do everything or having to provide all the energy. And Jo is brilliant as the Vicar. We have a lovely chemistry together. Our scenes are great fun.

Q: Do you have to play the comedy straight?

A: Definitely. As with any comedy, first and foremost it has to be real. You're asking the audience what it would be like if you really did live with three ghosts. The relationship between the four main characters can get very emotional, so it always has to be believable.

Q: What do you hope viewers will take away from this series?

A: I hope they will continue on a journey with Marley and will go with her desire to move on. But they'll be torn because they love both the ghosts and Marley. I hope they will be on her side as she longs to leave this state of limbo with the ghosts. I hope they'll be rooting for her as she attempts to move on - and fails of course! In the end, the audience will be happy because, as in all the best sitcoms, nothing really changes!

Q: Where might future series of Marley's Ghosts take her?

A: I think the next series should be like Friends. Marley will get a new boyfriend who is accepted by them all - except Adam!