Interview with Sian Gibson who plays Kath in The Power of Parker



Tell us about your character in the show?

Kath works as a mobile hairdresser in a retirement home, she loves her job and gets to spend her day gossiping with the residents and her best friend Gladys, played by Sheila Reid. She is an eternal optimist, full of life and definitely wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s not had the most blissful upbringing and is prepared to fight for what she wants. She also loves a bit of double denim.

How was the writing process with Paul and how did the idea come about?

Paul Coleman is a great friend of mine and a very talented writer. He came up with the idea of the show and asked me if I wanted to co-write it with him. Obviously I jumped at the chance.

Do you have a highlight from filming?

Too many highlights. It was a dream job. However, one day that really sticks out is a day when I was filming a scene in Kath’s flat with Conleth and Rosie. The three of us got such bad giggles it was embarrassing and the more we tried not to laugh the worse it became. We ended up all having to film the scene separately and had to get split up like naughty children. I was delivering my lines to a wall, as I couldn’t look at their faces without laughing. Our lovely director Joe Roberts has a lot of patience.

Are there any similarities between you and your character?

We are exactly the same height and we both love Spandau Ballet

What is your favourite thing from the 80s/90s?

The music and the fashion. I was 14 in 1990, when the show is set, and I still have exactly the same hair do and taste in music, but sadly I gave away my ra ra skirt to a Blue Peter bring-and-buy charity fund.

What were you doing in the 80s/90s?

I was in school in the 80s in North Wales, and mostly doing dance routines badly in my bedroom.

Diane and Kath are great characters, how was it writing a character knowing you’re going to end up playing her?

There aren’t masses of juicy roles for women our age in comedy so it was lovely to write a role that I’d love to play. Rosie was always our perfect Diane, she’s a brilliant actress and loads of fun, so knowing she would be alongside me hopefully proved that women of a certain age can still be feisty, funny and fabulous.

Why did you chose to set it in the 1990s?

I was a student in Manchester in the 90s so obviously I love the music, the fashion and liked the idea of making something nostalgic with lots of big hair, shoulder pads and a cracking soundtrack.

However, for our story, the time period was also the perfect setting for Martin Parker and his dodgy dealings. In a pre-digital age, with no google, texting or email trails it would have been much easier to hide his secrets.

It was pre ‘ladette’ and #MeToo so women were also viewed a bit differently in relationships and in the workplace and probably wouldn't have called out the bad behaviour so much. Hopefully our audience can enjoy watching Kath and Diane stand up for themselves and regain their power in love, in the family unit and in the workplace.

Have you ever done anything in a moment of revenge?

I’m quite hot-headed, like Kath, so any acts of revenge have been spur of the moment and inevitably quite naff with lack of thought. I once opened a load of cans of beer in an ex's fridge so they would go flat…not quite Fatal Attraction.

How would you describe the show?

Ultimately it's a love story about romantic love, family ties and the love of status and money. It's about what happens when people get greedy and the lengths they'll go to in order to cover up lies and bad behaviour and keep up appearances.


It’s Stockport 1990 and Martin Parker, a man with the ambition of Alan Sugar and the looks of Robert Kilroy Silk is slowly waking up to the fact that things are changing.

With a chain of electrical stores, a wife, kids and a flash car, he has the perfect life. But in reality he’s swimming in a sea of debt and lies, and it falls to the two women in his life, Kath and Diane to plot his downfall.

The Power of Parker comes to BBC One and BBC iPlayer from Friday 28 July

Source BBC One

July 19, 2023 3:00am ET by BBC One  


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