HOW WE MET: Sarah Alexander & Ben Miller
Hogg, Clare Dwyer, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
Sarah Alexander was born in London in 1971. She turned down a place at Manchester University to take up her first professional acting job. She has since appeared in various comedy series, most notably `Armstrong and Miller', `Smack the Pony' and `Coupling'. She lives in London.
Ben Miller, aged 38, was brought up in Cheshire and studied physics at Cambridge University, where he met his future comedy partner, Alexander Armstrong. As well as the `Armstrong and Miller' series, Ben has appeared in a number of films, including `The Parole Officer' and `Johnny English'. He lives in London.
I was dressed in a wedding dress when I first set eyes on Ben, and he was in a morning suit. We were shooting a commercial together in Blackpool for disposable cameras which were just being introduced (this will give away how long ago it was). I was dressed in this great big meringue and feeling quite uncomfortable about being so girlie. To make sure I still felt like me, I put my Doc Martens on underneath my dress. Half-way through shooting, we had a rest from the church and I put my feet up on a table to reveal my boots in an "aha hilarious" way which was really for my own benefit but I remember catching Ben's eye and him finding it extremely amusing.
We kept in touch when we got back to London and the first time I saw Ben again was when I went to see him doing a show. A bit after that we made a pilot show for TV, a pastiche on Australian soap operas. It never saw the light of day, but it was a lot of fun. And then, when Ben got the Armstrong and Miller series on Channel 4, he asked if I wanted to be involved. I reckon that was my best job ever. It was so fun and we were free to do whatever we wanted. I can't forget the Nude Practice sketch we did in a hurry - we were vets, wearing nothing except boots, a cap and gloves. We filmed it in November, in the Peak District. Very weird. I was terrified but there was a lot of respect going on - it was a safe place to do it. It was very funny though, all that.
It was through meeting Ben and doing Armstrong and Miller that I found my niche: before that I was thinking about doing Shakespeare and comedy and other things, but with him I found comedy really comfortable, it worked out - it was something I could do.
We weren't people who naturally just wanted to be famous and well- known but there was a moment when Ben and I were both sort of ready to move forward, move up the ladder a bit. We got together and had a big chat about it. It was an important time. My thing was being offered The 11 O'Clock Show. It was such a big job and I was scared. But Ben said you've just got to take responsibility for it - and I think that's exactly it. If you find that you want it and you want it badly, you have to embrace it. And then you get confidence, and then more desire to get ahead - that's why we weren't offered those big parts at the start of our …
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Publication information: Article title: HOW WE MET: Sarah Alexander & Ben Miller. Contributors: Hogg, Clare Dwyer - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: March 7, 2004. Page number: 5. © 2009 The Independent on Sunday. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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