Actors Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston are celebrating four decades on screen together in a new More4 series visiting landmark places from their lives and the special destinations the pair have always wanted to see together.
The three-part series Ricky, Sue & a Trip or Two is a commission for More4 from Nine Lives Media in Birmingham and LA Productions in Liverpool, resulting from Channel 4 and Create Central’s More4 the West Midlands development fund.
The series will see the friends showing each other some of the places across Britain that hold cherished memories, as well as spots they’ve wanted to see together. Locations will include Shrewsbury Prison, where Ricky was jailed in the 1970s for unjust charges that Sue took to the streets to campaign against, and reveals how they both ended up on Brookside Close, where the pair first acted alongside each other in the iconic Channel 4 soap opera.
As well as playing Bobby and Sheila Grant in Brookside, Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston went on to become the equally iconic Jim and Barbara Royle in The Royle Family and have recently been sharing a sofa on Celebrity Gogglebox.
Ricky Tomlinson comments: “Sue and I have had a lot of laughs and a lot of memories over the years. This new series will give us a chance to put the world to rights as we explore places treasured to us and to many others around Britain.”
Sue Johnston: “Ricky and I feel so honoured to have had shared 40 years on screen together and a firm friendship for all of that time, so it’s particularly special to be taking a trip of a lifetime with him around this beautiful country for More 4. Channel 4 will have a job to do keeping us both on our best behaviour along with the friends we meet along the way.”
Ricky, Sue & a Trip or Two is a 3 x 60’ series co-produced by Nine Lives Media, with executive producers Jazz Gowans and Cat Lewis, and LA Productions, with executive producer Colin McKeown – co-creator of Brookside. The More4 series has been commissioned by Channel 4’s Jayne Stanger, Commissioning Editor, Daytime & Features, and Jo Street, Head of Daytime & Features.
Channel 4’s Jo Street, Head of Daytime & Features, comments: “We love having some of the nation’s most cherished personalities on More4 and who is more cherished than The Royle Family themselves? It’s a delight to have Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston back in the Channel 4 family. It’s made all the better by working with Nine Lives and LA Productions and talented creatives from both the West Midlands and the North West, to produce a unique travelogue around Great Britain.”
The series is commissioned as a result of Channel 4 and Create Central’s linear unscripted development initiative More4 the West Midlands, a partnership launched in April 2022 to forge stronger relationships between West Midlands’ indies and Channel 4 Commissioning to create more opportunities for creative talent in the region.
Ed Shedd, Chair of Create Central, comments: “We are thrilled to be part of this collaboration between Create Central and Channel 4 for this development initiative. It exemplifies the power of close cooperation in fostering the growth and emergence of local talent and companies. Congratulations to Nine Lives on their achievement, and I eagerly anticipate watching the show.”
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