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Nicola Coughlan reveals how new female-led show evolved over time

Nicola Coughlan has opened up on how her eagerly-anticipated comedy series Big Mood evolved as it was developed.

The six-part Channel 4 show, which kicks off tonight (March 28), follows best friends Maggie (Coughlan) and Eddie (Lydia West) when their friendship is put to the test after 10 years as they navigate adulthood.

Written by Camilla Whitehill, an old friend of Coughlan, the pair opened up on how the Bridgerton actress became involved with the project during a Q&A session attended by Digital Spy and other press.

When asked if Coughlan had ‘any option’ as to whether she would star in Big Mood, Whitehill replied: “No. I genuinely never asked her, ever”, to which Coughlan agreed it was “never a discussion”.

The Derry Girls actor added: “Surprise, you’re in it. I was like: ‘I would like to be in it but I have a scheduling’, [but] she was like: ‘You’re in my show now’. Alright, ok.”

Whitehill went on to joke that she “doesn’t care about schedules” and it was “Bridgerton what?” when it came to the pair working together.

Coughlan then revealed the show once went under a very different title before evolving into the female-led buddy comedy it is now.

“Also, it was years and years of this show. Like the show was lots of different iterations. Do you remember it was once called The Men?” she said.

She said it was originally about a lead female character and her relationships before Whitehill chimed in that the change in direction came about because “men suck”.

Coughlan added: “It’s much better than it would have been if it was that. I do like The Men as well but that will be our next show.”

Whitehill also spoke about the central theme of friendship in Big Mood, and how it became such an important part of the show’s narrative over romantic relationships.

“I think that my female friendships have been some of the most important in my life and I don’t see them handled with the detail that romantic relationships do,” she said.

“And when a very close friendship peaks and troughs, its ups and downs can have such an effect on the way that you live, the way that you make your decisions, in the same way that a marriage can. I’ve just always wanted to write a buddy comedy about women because women are way funnier than men. I just laugh so much with my female friends so I just thought, obviously, that’s a good place for comedy.”

The official synopsis for the show reads: “Best friends Maggie and Eddie have lived in each other’s pockets for ten years, through thick, thin, and multiple challenging eyebrow trends.

“But with the rest of their lives looming, careers hanging in the balance, and Maggie’s bipolar disorder making an unwelcome return to form, Eddie begins to question whether this friendship is really in their best interests. It’s a pivotal point in both their lives, bringing to the surface those all-important questions – could sleeping with your former History teacher be the key to happiness?”

Digital Spy
Written by Rebecca Saye and Janet A Leigh
Published March 28, 2024