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Significant Other preview released by ITVX


Significant Other preview released by ITVX

ITVX have released a trailer for their latest comedy-drama, produced by Quay Street Productions, Significant Other, launching on 8th June.

Starring Katherine Parkinson and Youssef Kerkour, is a beautifully unconventional love story told through a comedic lens, which explores the depths of love, disappointment, and the surprises that life still has to offer.

Sam’s (Youssef Kerkour) waiting to die, after swallowing a cabinet full of pills, when he’s interrupted by his neighbour, Anna (Katherine Parkinson) – she’s having a heart attack and needs to wait with him until help arrives. From this ill-fated first encounter, these two lonely neighbours, who have lost all faith in love, embark on a hilarious, obstacle-filled relationship, and on the way discover that even when life seems to have passed them by, there are still surprises to be had…

Anna is in her mid-40s, with a hinterland of romantic disappointments, heartbreaks and family tragedies that have left her, now, a solitary figure living and working in her tastefully decorated flat. Shy, honest (hilariously so), kind, authentic, an indie music lover who goes to gigs on her own, she’s found peace in her own company. Her mother died a few years ago, but Anna sometimes still speaks to her, asks her advice – though her mother never quite gives the counsel she seeks.

Anna finds and sees the humour and surreal nature of life in most things. She’s got an in-built bullshit detector; she’s witty, dry, original – a truth teller, but without being obnoxious about it. Her friends from Uni are all married or divorced with kids, but she never felt the need for any. By this point, Anna has retreated within herself, and is comfortable with silence and her own company. This is her life now and she can see the remainder of it unfolding in much the same fashion. Until Sam crashes into her life…

Katherine Parkinson:

“It feels very modern. It’s set in Manchester, but we were encouraged to use our own accents, which I think is great because often, in cities like Manchester, London and Liverpool, there are loads of people from all different sorts of places. Often, if you’ve gone to university there – which I think in Anna’s case is what’s happened – you stay. Also, Manchester looks beautiful in some of the shots that I’ve seen and very modern with its cool graffiti.

“We filmed around the Northern Quarter. I also wanted to be a part of the show because of the casting. They have cast people from different backgrounds without having a conversation about it and making it part of the story – which I think is great.”

When we meet Sam, also in his mid-40s, he’s spiralling out of control after his marriage to a shrewd, successful career woman has exploded. He comes from a big, boisterous family centred round the family business. Unlike Anna, he feels inescapably bonded to (and responsible for) his billowing family; the ex wife, two adolescent children, and an equally flawed father (who he works for as a salesman at a bathroom store).

Sam is very much not from the same cultural milieu as Anna, in fact he has never particularly found culture of any sort particularly engaging (just contrast his sparse, undecorated flat to hers). He’s a victim to his sex drive, and now that he’s out of his marriage he is unapologetic about avoiding monogamy and romantic commitment in his future. He’s childlike – some would say infantile (!) – and neurotic, but he wears his heart on his sleeve which makes him funny and engaging… and an id-like foil to Anna, who is often paralysed by choice.

Youssef Kerkour:

“It’s a very interesting take on relationships and who we are. Are we an individual or are we the other people? Do we need other people to feel like ourselves? Sam is somebody who on the surface would appear to be having a midlife crisis, but it’s a bit more complex than that. He’s somebody who wants to reclaim his lost youth, but who doesn’t have the strength of character or generosity to stop at the age that he’s aiming for. So, he continues to regress to an age that is a lot more juvenile and needy than he thinks. He wants to go and recapture his twenties, but he carries on going and becomes a 13-year-old.

“He’s left his wife and children because he wants to shake things up and he wants to feel that feeling that he remembers. But he’s walking away from something very great, and he regrets it and wants it back. Now he can’t have it back, and that’s where we meet him in the story.”

Significant Other, all episodes available on ITVX from Thursday 8th June

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