Alison Steadman admits cast ‘didn’t want to be near each other’ during BBC Radio 4 project

The One Show: Alison Steadman discusses her new film

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Alison Steadman, 74, “did not want to get near” her Skeletons In The Cupboard co-stars, while recording the BBC series during the coronavirus pandemic. The Gavin and Stacey actress revealed her colleagues maintained social distancing throughout the production, in order to create a safe working environment and were subjected to rigorous testing.

None of us wanted to use public transport

Alison Steadman

Alison said: “They [BBC producers] have been very cautious, we have had COVID tests, wearing masks… except when you were actually acting. 

“Then when we got to the studio each day our temperature was taken and we were all separated by screens.”

Alison explained that due to the nature of voice work, actors felt it was vital to maintain a fair amount of distance from each other.

She continued: “You felt safe, you had your own sort of area, particularly doing radio because you do tend to raise your voice, you have to open your mouth wide, laugh and shout. 

“So of course we didn’t want to be near one another. They were very well organised. We had a private car to take us to the studio and back. 

“None of us wanted to use public transport because the tube is quite a long journey to North Acton from Highgate [where Alison lives].”

Skeletons In The Cupboard is produced by Sue Limb, who Alison worked with on Gloomsbury, a previous BBC Radio 4 series.

Opening up her working relationship with Sue, Alison said: “She really is a brilliant writer, and when we finished that series for BBC, she asked me and Morwenna Banks and Nigel Planer if we would like to do this new show. 

“We had no idea what it was going to be, but we leapt at the opportunity. 

“I just love her writing, so there was no way I was going to say no. When the script was first sent out, it was just absolutely brilliant.”

However, Alison is now enjoying a career break as she spends lockdown with her partner of over 25 years, Michael Elwyn.

Alison divulged: “I’m touching wood that I’m OK, I’m not ill, my family are okay.

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“So many people have been hit by Covid and lost members of their family or friends. So I’m not complaining.”

Alison has encountered difficult days that have left her feeling emotional, as she is unable to see her extended family in person.

She continued: “I don’t like it. I find it tough. Some days I feel quite tearful. 

“I miss seeing people, I miss my family. We do FaceTime and Zoom every now and again. It’s not the same obviously.”

Britain is currently in its third government ordered lockdown to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed, amid the coronavirus pandemic that began last year.

Tonight, Alison will be appearing on screens alongside Sandi Toksvig on her programme Extraordinary Escapes.

In the first episode, Alison and Sandi explore a thatched cottage with its own moat over in rural Suffolk, while delving into each others’ childhood memories.

Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig airs tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm.

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