Craig Cash: Watching TV series loved by Caroline Aherne broke my heart

The stars appeared in – and co-created – The Royle Family.
The stars appeared in – and co-created – The Royle Family. The stars appeared in – and co-created – The Royle Family.

Craig Cash has told of the heartbreak of watching a television series his co-star Caroline Aherne had been a fan of before her death.

Cash co-wrote and co-starred in The Royle Family with Aherne, who died in July 2016 at the age of 52 following a battle with cancer.

He told the Radio Times magazine that he bought Aherne the boxset of Danish political drama Borgen before her death “because I knew she’d love it”.

The Royle Family
The Royle Family The Royle Family (Matt Squires/BBC)

He added: “She binged on the whole thing and I eventually had to stop her talking about it.

“After she died, each episode broke my heart because I just wanted to get her on the phone to discuss it.”

Cash, who played Dave, the partner of Aherne’s character Denise in the sitcom, which ran from 1998 until 2000 with special episodes several years later, said that he had to go through the show’s props following her death.

“It was heartbreaking”, he said.

Of the TV show’s famous sofa, on which the Royles would sit throughout each episode, he said: “I had no room for the sofa so someone who works with me has it in their garage. One day we’ll sell it for charity.

“But I kept a Charles and Diana plate and a felt wall hanging with Blackpool Tower on it.”

Gogglebox narrator Cash also revealed that Aherne “used to make us kiss the Royle Family script three times before we sent it to the BBC.”

He added: “Mind you, she kissed a lot of things. She was so in love with Hugh Grant that she kissed the TV screen when he was on it. When her TV broke, the repair man wondered why there was lipstick all over it!”

The Radio Times is on sale now.