Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A DOUBLE HELPING OF FAMILY LIFE; New Sky One Comedy Drama Bliss Centres around a Man with a Double Life. but, as the Cast Tell Georgia Humphreys, Viewers Might Relate to the Situation More Than They'd Think Who Have Exists, Want Becoming Decides Dreams. to "Offless the of Him Andrew ON THE SCREEN SMALL

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A DOUBLE HELPING OF FAMILY LIFE; New Sky One Comedy Drama Bliss Centres around a Man with a Double Life. but, as the Cast Tell Georgia Humphreys, Viewers Might Relate to the Situation More Than They'd Think Who Have Exists, Want Becoming Decides Dreams. to "Offless the of Him Andrew ON THE SCREEN SMALL

Article excerpt

Byline: Georgia Humphreys

FIFTEEN years of lies. Two sets of wives and kids. One very complicated life. To say travel writer Andrew Ballard, the protagonist of new Sky One show Bliss, has got himself in a bit of a pickle would be a massive understatement.

But, says Stephen Mangan, his character's situation is actually quite common.

"I met one cabbie who told me his dad had three women on the go," elaborates the 49-year-old. "He had built up lives that the other people didn't know about.

"We can all relate to that in a way. We all have hobbies or read books our partners don't know about. This is that in extremis."

DIFFICULT DILEMMA IMPORTANTLY, the show doesn't glorify Andrew's bigamy. "It's not a, 'Wey-hey, I've-got-a-harem' thing," quips London-born Stephen.

"Andrew absolutely loves both women," continues the star, best known for comedies such as Green Wing and Episodes. "When he leaves each woman, he's heartbroken. He goes around the corner and cries because it's so stressful."

While most people will probably feel more sorry for the wives (Kim and Denise), who have no idea the other exists, you may empathise with Andrew too.

ON SMALL SCREEN Jo Hartley (Denise) adds: "When I read the scripts, I really liked Andrew's character a lot and that's what I thought was clever, because you don't want to like this person, do you?".

And it was this approach from writer and director David Cross, star of US comedy Arrested Development, that won over The Hangover's Heather Graham.

"I thought it might be gross and be about this guy boasting about getting all the girls," the 48-year-old admits. "But then I read it, and instantly loved it."

LIFE WITH ANDREW HEATHER plays American Kim, who she describes as "proper and conservative" but is becoming frustrated and decides to pursue her dreams.

THE However, we'll see Andrew desperately try to dissuade her. …

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