Anna Lundberg discusses the secret to success of BBC lockdown comedy Staged

The actress said the programme gave viewers ‘relief'.

Anna Lundberg has said BBC comedy Staged was a success because it reflected people’s “everyday struggles”.

The actress starred in the lockdown show alongside her partner Michael Sheen and married couple David and Georgia Tennant.

The series sees the actors play fictionalised versions of themselves as the pandemic disrupts their personal and professional lives.

Anna Lundberg and Michael Sheen (GCB Films/Infinity Hill/BBC/PA)

Lundberg said a lot of other programmes which referenced the pandemic were “very heavy and mirrored what was going on in the world at the time”.

She told the PA news agency: “It was all about the heavy stuff, whereas we came along and it was just a bit silly, which I think a lot of people found to be a bit of a relief.

“Without actually ignoring what was going on, you could sort of bring in everyday struggles that everyone was facing with a bit of comedy instead, and I think a lot of people needed that at the time.”

Georgia Tennant said the programme was “a mirror to what everyone else was dealing with, yet at the same time… we never mentioned Covid-19”.

She added that making the programme was “therapeutic”.

“My character through season one and season two very much mirrored how I was feeling about the pandemic, so I think I took elements of that extreme emotion,” she said.

“I was able to go, ‘I’m getting pissed off, I’m getting annoyed, I’m getting frustrated, or I’m feeling quite positive’.”

David and Georgia Tennant (GCB Films/Infinity Hill/BBC/PA)

Staged featured cameos from stars including Dame Judi Dench, Samuel L Jackson and Ben Schwartz.

Georgia Tennant said: “I think the moment that we found out that Samuel L Jackson was in it will probably be… the thing that will stick with us forever.

“I think that was the moment that we went, ‘Oh f***, this is an actual thing that will definitely be on the telly now because he’s in it’.

“I think until that moment it didn’t really seem real.”

She added that filming at home with “only David there watching” meant there was “no sense of being embarrassed in front of other people”.

Lundberg said the only equipment she and Sheen had at home was “a kitchen light, so there was no lighting or anything like that, and it didn’t really feel real until it was actually on the television because we never left our house”.

“It was quite bizarre in that sense.”

The boxset of Staged series one and two is available for purchase from February 15.

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