Sian Gibson interview

She’s shared a car with Peter Kay and now she’s sharing a coach with Johnny Vegas. We spoke to actress Sian Gibson about her new show, Murder on the Blackpool Express.

Sian Gibson interview

Can you tell us a bit about your character, Gemma?

So, Gemma, she owns the business, it's a bit of a flop but she wants it to succeed. She is very ambitious but... it doesn't go too well. She really relies on the coach driver, Terry, and they have a really good laugh. They are a little bit flirty but not over the top. They've had a close friendship for years.

What's her reaction when people start dying?

Gemma is in complete denial at first and doesn't want to believe that her passengers are being murdered one by one - not because she's scared, but mainly because she doesn't want to end the tour and have to give anyone still alive their money back!

How would you react in that sort of situation?

Oh I don't think I would ever get myself in such a situation. I have enough trouble sorting travel for myself, I could never organise it for others. I got on the wrong train the other week and ended up in Crewe three times on the same journey. Being a tour guide is definitely not in my DNA.

What does the coach setting add to the drama?

Well it means that everyone is in every scene so you are just forced together, aren't you, if you're in a coach? All the characters are constantly together so there is no escaping. You see everything and that heightens the fear and the suspense - it's the closeness and the claustrophobia.

How would you describe it: pastiche, comedy, murder mystery?

All of the above. But it has different moments. There are some bits which are totally, I would say, naturalistic, and then other bits where the comedy is heightened.

Who have you enjoyed meeting, working with, and hanging out with?

When I saw the cast list I was so excited. Absolute TV royalty, the show is so well cast. A few of my friends had worked with Johnny before and told me how lovely he was so I was obviously looking forward to working with him and I just knew we would get on, but I was genuinely so thrilled to be meeting all of them. I was very nervous and star-struck, it was very embarrassing.

Tell us a secret about another cast member...?

Kimberley Nixon looks so angelic but that girl has got a potty mouth.

Can you tell us about a memorable scene that you either enjoyed or hated filming?

I didn't hate filming any of the scenes, there was such a lovely atmosphere on set. In fact, the worst thing I had to deal with was getting through a scene without getting the giggles. Johnny has a way of looking at me and just making me laugh. The script is so funny that we just all had our problems with reading our lines and not laughing. I am going to blame Johnny for that. Because he's got a little glint in his eye. The best days were when all of the cast were in scenes together - it really didn't feel like work at all. It was such a fabulous job, I'd love to do it all again.

What was it like to film in Blackpool?

Oh I love Blackpool. We used to go to Blackpool on family holidays when I was younger so it was a treat to stay there again. We were blessed with glorious weather for the first few days so we saw Blackpool at its best. We had a great time: fun nights out, slot machines and Katy and I even saw a fortune teller - she actually told us that you would ask this question. It also rained and was freezing!

Tell us a bit about the coach that you filmed in.

Well I'm used to filming in a moving vehicle, but this was far roomier than a Fiat. The Murder on the Orient Express movie comes out around the same time as this. Which will be better - Orient Express with Johnny Depp or Blackpool Express with Johnny Vegas? Well I'm obviously going to say Blackpool Express and Vegas. Why? I'm not good with trains.

The response to Car Share was phenomenal. What has the past year has been like for you professionally?

It's been overwhelming. I don't think Peter or I expected such a huge positive response to the show or the characters. So, for me personally, it's been an absolute joy and because of the show's success I've been fortunate enough to work on some amazing shows with some wonderful actors. It's been an absolute dream and I'm loving every minute of it.

Who's your favourite detective?

Angela Lansbury.

What's the perfect murder?

I wouldn't want any blood, so it would have to be poison. And I wouldn't want to be there when they died so it would be in their cocoa - go to sleep, wake up dead - well, they wouldn't wake up dead, would they? You know what I mean.