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Actress and comedian Kerry Godliman on her new seaside thriller Whitstable Pearl

Actress and comedian Kerry Godliman stars in new thriller Whitstable Pearl. We found out more about noseying around the seaside town...

Whitstable Pearl: Kerry Godliman as Pearl Nolan
Danielle de Wolfe

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE WORLD OF WHITSTABLE PEARL?

THERE'S romance in it. It's set in a really handsome, slightly unusual little town. There's humour in it and it's got dark moments too. It's a bit of everything really.

Part of its charm is it is a small town, and the pros and cons of a small town are that everybody knows everybody's business. That might make you feel supported and seen, or it might make you feel a bit irritated. If you want to do something like murder someone, it's a pain in the arse having someone in your business.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT WHODUNNITS THAT MAKE THEM SO POPULAR?

Maybe it's the legacy of Agatha Christie? I had moments where I felt like I was channelling Miss Marple as I was nosying around Whitstable. There's something very cosy about it and there's that underbelly of the idyllic, small British village where something untoward is going on, you know? Crimes and misdemeanours…

WAS IT INTERESTING TO PLAY A CHARACTER LIVING OUT AN UNFULFILLED DREAM?

The storyline is that my character, Pearl, was a police officer when she was young, then she had to give it all up because she had her son and it just wasn't realistic at that time in her life. I love the idea of someone juggling a fish restaurant and a private detective agency. I mean, I struggle to juggle stand-up comedy and doing a bit of gardening. Her ambitions are quite high, aren't they?

DID YOU EVER HAVE DREAMS OUTSIDE OF ACTING AND COMEDY?

Not really. I went into acting because that was a more legitimate career path, but actually, my private passion was stand-up. So, I got to do it, you know?

YOU FILMED THE SERIES ON LOCATION IN KENT, WAS IT A FUN SEASIDE ESCAPE?

Pre-Covid we might have gone out for the odd meal or had the odd gathering or a drink or something, but we just couldn't, there was nowhere to go, everything was shut! There were lots of long walks on the beach; I know that front pretty well now. I know Herne Bay all the way through Tankerton, right down to Seasalter. I've got a sense of the geography of it all.

HOW HAVE YOU FOUND THE LOCKDOWNS?

Well, the first lockdown was shocking – as it was for everyone, because then it was sort of flailing around not knowing quite what was going on. You clear out all your cupboards, you alphabetise your condiments, you homeschool your kids and you start making banana bread.

There were moments where I liked it – I mean, when you're not watching the news and having a sort of panic attack about infection rates. But also, it was very upsetting and stressful and I found it very anxiety-inducing, having my kids at home for so long.

You review that you're not a key worker, you're not an essential worker. Suddenly you feel surplus to requirements, don't you, when you're essentially a clown? There's nothing essential about a clown. So yeah, you kind of have a slight existential breakdown.

DO YOU HAVE ANY COMEDY PLANS AFOOT?

I was meant to be on a stand-up tour when lockdown happened – the first one. So that all got cancelled. And then a lot of my work is live, so that all went away and that freed up my schedule. So, in the old 'Sliding Doors, other world, if Covid hadn't happened', I don't think I would have even been free to do Whitstable Pearl.

:: Whitstable Pearl is available to stream on Acorn TV from today

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