THE Trouble with Maggie Cole’s Dawn French has explained her character's devastating betrayal of best friend Jill.
The new six-part ITV drama begins tonight and sees Dawn star as local gossip Maggie – who goes on regional radio to talk about local life in the fictional coastal town of Thurlbury.
However, Maggie gets tipsy before taking to the airwaves and divulges all the rumours and gossip about her fellow residents, real and imagined.
Her salacious comments are then played out during the live broadcast leaving everyone aghast, and leading to terrible consequences.
One victim of Maggie's loose lips is her best friend Jill, played by former Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh.
Jill is a deputy head teacher at a school where Maggie's husband works as the head.
But Dawn explained: "Maggie’s husband is about to retire so Jill is the natural heir to the headship.
"But Maggie implies live on air that Jill’s ‘not the sharpest tool!’ It’s just so unforgivable. I don’t think she even means it."
She added to WhatsOnTV: "If I’d betrayed my best friend like that it would be absolutely devastating.”
Julie, 50, said: "It just hits a nerve for Jill as she’s actually pretty smart, she just doesn’t wear it on her sleeve.
"So it really cuts deep for her that a friend would say that publicly. It causes her lots of pain.”
Explaining her character a bit more, Dawn, 62, said: "Maggie is someone who’s quite needy, and makes a big mistake.
"Her world then falls apart because Thurlbury is such a small town, so it affects everyone…”
Julie added: "We’ve all got a friend like Maggie who’s full of themselves and bigs themselves up all the time, but Jill loves Maggie and accepts her.
"So she ends up feeling badly betrayed by the radio show.”
The Trouble with Maggie Cole starts tonight at 9pm on ITV.
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