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Peter Kay and Sian Gibson brought to life the now-nation renowned show ‘Car Share’ – a BBC sitcom about two colleagues travelling to work together. They played will-they-won’t-they lovebirds John Redmond and Kayleigh Kitson, who engaged in brief flirtations throughout the show’s three series. Many fans would have been delighted by the popular programme’s finale, which ended with the characters holding hands and briefly beaming at one another. Away from the small screen Peter, now 47, had a number of Channel 4 TV hits behind him ahead of the show’s release in 2014. But Sian, 43, his friend from university without any major acting credits, feared she could be responsible for his first flop.
The ‘Phoenix Nights’ co-writer and star admitted that he penned ‘Car Share’ with Sian in mind to take the lead despite having a number of other actresses waiting in the wings.
Initially she remained clueless to his intention while she helped him with the script and, weeks before filming began, nearly backed out because she feared ruining his career.
Prior to her big appearance, she had worked as an extra for a number of years but became “frustrated” and quit to settle down in Wales – where she worked at a call centre.
Sian confessed to being “completely surprised” by how successful the first season of the show was during a 2017 BBC interview.
She said: “Even though I know how much people love Peter, I was still worried that they would just be bored with the two of us stuck in a car and I might be responsible for Peter’s first TV flop.
Sian fired back “that’s nice” only to be stunned by Peter’s savage retort, when he said: “It’s true, besides Sheridan Smith was busy filming Cilla.”
“So overwhelmed at how much everybody enjoyed the show and the characters.”
Peter admitted that he had fears for the show too: “I always believed in Car Share but like Sian I was always worried that viewers may not have the patience to stay with such a simple idea.
“Two people commuting to work, especially in this fast paced day and age with so many options to watch, so yes I was completely surprised.”
He continued to make a touching confession to his co-star: “Casting Sian was the best decision I ever made.
“I was grateful that the BBC trusted my decision as I knew if we could capture even just a fraction of our friendship then maybe that would be the magic that people would enjoy the most.”
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The actress, who seemed a little shocked, quickly fired back: “You’re funny!”
Away from their banterous back-and-forth, it was revealed that they remained very close away from the cameras and “speak every other day”.
Sian quipped: “Working together just saves our phone bill.
“Our relationship has never changed since our college days, we are still as silly and childish so obviously whenever we work together we get along perfectly as always.”
In 2018, the sitcom’s finale was watched by 6.1 million people in the UK, which meant it surpassed ‘Emmerdale’ and ‘EastEnders’ viewing figures, but fell 1.2 million short of ITV’s ‘Coronation Street’.
Peter Kay’s ‘Car Share’ airs tonight (July 17) at 9.30pm on BBC One.
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