Third time lucky
Susan George remembers vividly the last romantic screen moment she had with Dennis Waterman, way back in 1971. ‘Dennis played my boyfriend in the film Fright,’ says the actress, who first worked with Dennis in The Right Attitude?, a 1968 TV drama. ‘We had to kiss, but in the next scene he was murdered and spent the next few weeks of shooting lying around playing a corpse! It was a high price to pay for a kiss.’ Now they are reunited in the new series of Stay Lucky, starting this week.
After 18 months in prison, Thomas Gynn, played by Waterman, is welcomed home by Pippa and Lively, only to find his girlfriend, Sally, has run off with another man. However, Thomas soon finds solace in the arms of Samantha (Susan George), a businesswoman. But Samantha isn’t the only new woman to enter Thomas’s life. Later in the series, he is pursued by trade official Isabel, played by Dennis’s real-life wife, Rula Lenska. And, no sooner has he escaped Isabel, than he is making a move on dancer Jo (Leslie Ash)!
Appearing in Stay Lucky has been a welcome change for Susan, 42, who has recently been producing movies through Amy International, the company she runs with her husband, actor Simon MacCorkindale. ‘I was wary of doing a TV series, but Yorkshire TV were very persuasive. I have not appeared on screen because I needed to give all my time to my production company,’ says Susan, whose recent TV credits include ITV’s Cluedo. ‘But the timing of this was just right.’
Susan was very drawn to the character of Samantha, the no-nonsense manager of a local steam engine museum who employs Thomas. ‘She is a very hard worker, a self-made woman and a hard taskmaster. But she also has a great sense of humour.’
Away from the cameras, Susan admits the beer and football-loving Waterman, 45, who’s touring Britain with the play Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, is not her cup of tea. But viewers will be left to guess whether her character, Samantha, replaces Sally in Thomas’s affections. They’re very different. Thomas clearly fancies his chances, but Samantha is the one in control – she keeps him firmly at arm’s length.’