Chanel Cresswell on Sky1’s hit comedy Trollied

Trollied, the successful supermarket-set comedy on Sky 1, returns this week for its third series. Having built a loyal fanbase over the past few years with its mix of hilarious scripts and solid top-to-bottom cast, the home-grown show is getting some well-deserved attention.

We were lucky enough to get some time with cast member Chanel Cresswell, who plays the flirtatious Katie, to find out what it’s like working with Jane Horrocks and Mark Addy, and the challenges of television comedy.

With Trollied now in its third series, it seems the show is getting a lot more press and attention these days.

Oh yeah definitely, it’s great the show is getting more attention! I think it’s because with any show going into its third series, you’re really into developing the storylines and are even getting to a peak of maybe wrapping some of them up compared to when you’re starting a new show.

Going back to when you started the show, what attracted you to Trollied?

It was really all down to the scripts, as they were absolutely amazing. You could just tell that there were real comedy bones at the heart of the script which is really important. There was also a strong cast with people like Mark Addy, Jane Horrocks and Jason Watkins, but also a lot of unknowns too. It’s a really good mix.

Jane Horrocks, Warren Clarke & Jason Watkins - TrolliedIt must be a great opportunity to work with really experienced actors like Jane, Mark and Jason.

Absolutely.  I’ve learnt so much from them over the years and they really added legitimacy to the show straight from the beginning. If you see those names attached to a show then you get an idea of how good it is. And they’re all really lovely too so that helps. Jane always pushes me when I’m struggling with difficult lines and has taught me not to shy away from it.

Before you got the part of Katie on Trollied, you were best known for your role as Kelly in This Is England and the follow-up television series. How did that role differ from what you’re doing now?

Obviously it was a lot more dramatic and so my background ended up being in dramatized roles. It’s not quite as different as you’d think as it’s really the same basis for projects. They’ve all been brilliant and I like the challenge of pushing myself in different areas. I was a bit scared of Trollied as I wasn’t used to comedy but as an actress I think you have to test yourself when you get the chance.

In terms of comedy vs drama, is there more freedom on a show like Trollied to improvise and play around with the material?

For me I tend to stick to the script as I’m quite inexperienced with comedy so, other than the facial expressions and what I bring to the character, I trust the scripts a lot. They’ve got great jokes in them and I don’t like messing around too much. Especially when Katie is one of the characters that brings more of a drama element to the show with the relationship, compared to Carl Rice and Bev Rudd who have a lot of fun with the improv.

Trollied1When did you finish filming the new series and what have you been up to since?

I actually think we finished way back in March, so it’s been a long time coming. I’m anxious to see what it’s like and I have to remind myself of what’s happened before talking about it! I’ve actually done some work on Silent Witness and now I’m just getting myself back into the auditioning process. I’m quite picky about what I do so it just depends what projects come up and if they are ones that interest me.

Obviously we know you for your work on screen, but do you ever fancy stepping behind the camera?

Actually that is something I think about sometimes. I’m a very visual person and I often talk to the director to see what he’s doing and how he frames things etc. When I read the scripts I always imagine exactly how it’ll look and what Katie is wearing and things like that. So I’m even interested in the hair and makeup side of things too. Creative input is quite important really, especially when you spend so long with these characters.

Now you’ve been in the show for a few years, how’s fame treating you? Do you get recognised in the street for this role or previous ones?

It’s not too bad really. I live in Derby so I’m really out of the mix away from it all. I do get the occasional person recognising me from Trollied and everyone’s always so nice. As I looked so different in This Is England, I don’t really get anyone approaching me about that! It’s all part of the career though and it’s nice to get support like that from different people.

Trollied attracts a big range of viewers. Are you surprised how wide the appeal is?

Yeah, actually I am sometimes surprised when you get parents who say they love watching it with their kids, and they enjoy showing them how life used to be. There’s something they all relate to in Trollied and a lot of the jokes are funny to all ages. It’s nice to have a show that families will sit down and watch together as I don’t think that happens much now.

There are certainly a lot of people looking forward to the new series. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us!

Trollied series 3 starts on Thursday 22 August at 9pm on Sky 1 and Sky 1 HD.