Grandma’s House

This is a sitcom written by British comedian, Simon Amstell and his long term collaborator, Dan Swimer. In the show, Simon Amstell plays a version of himself : a television presenter searching for something more meaningful to do with his life. Each episode takes place at his grandmother’s house.

We first became aware that Nicola had an involvement with this show when it was listed as one of her television credits in the programme for the National Theatre play, Gethsemane. We then found out that she took part in the filming of the pilot episode, and played the role of “Auntie Liz”. This took place sometime in 2008. BBC2 then took 18 months before it decided to greenlight this programme, by which time, due to scheduling conflicts, Nicola was no longer available for this show when it commenced filming in early 2010. Her role was recast with Samantha Spiro in the part. Samantha subsequently won a comedy award with this role!

It would have been interesting to see Nicola in this role as this is not only a comedy, but in the show, “Auntie Liz” also has to deal with her teenage son who has gone a bit weird. This would have been unlike anything Nicola has played to date.

Update : 14 December 2011

Usually if a part is recast after a pilot episode has been filmed, that pilot episode will not see the light of day, for contractual and other reasons. In the case of Grandma’s House, however, a “Making Of” featurette appears as part of the extras for the Series 1 DVD box set. There are included in this featurette scenes from the pilot episode though Nicola’s face has been blanked out, as you can see from the screen cap below (click to view a larger pic).

Thank you to Lisa for the heads up about this Fun Fact and for sending us this screencap. 🙂

Buy from Amazon UK

A Region 2 DVD boxiest containing all six episodes from the first series of Grandma’s House is available from Amazon UK. Even though Nicola is not in this show, it still promises to make entertaining viewer with the likes of Rebecca Front and Samantha Spiro involved.