Bloods: Samson Kayo’s shrine, Jane Horrocks’ hidden talent and working with a dream cast - Secrets from the Set

Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks talks to us about the making of Bloods, the hilarious paramedic comedy on Sky One and NOW.

By Becky Gamester-Newton Published: 26 April 2021 - 7.35am
Comedy NOW

Jane Horrocks

Jane Horrocks and Samson Kayo in Bloods

If you’re looking for a sharp, witty comedy that’s guaranteed to make you laugh, then look no further than Bloods.

The Sky One comedy focuses on the unlikely pairing of two paramedics, Maleek and Wendy, who go about their working day with hilarious exchanges and laugh-out-loud situations.

Samson Kayo, who plays Maleek (and also created the show) and Absolutely Fabulous legend Jane Horrocks, who plays Wendy, spoke to BT.com and other press about getting a dream cast, the advantages of wearing a paramedic's uniform and laughing so hard that they were unable to film…

Samson wanted to be a paramedic

Samson Kayo plays Maleek in Bloods

Samson revealed that the show was inspired by one of his first choices of career.

“I was gonna be a paramedic before I started acting. I applied through the job centre to become an ambulance support driver. You could do that back then – now you have to train!” he laughs.

He continues: “When Roughcut approached me and asked if I wanted to do a short, what would I want to do, I kind of went back to that. I imagined what I would have been if I had actually gone through with it – and thus Bloods was born.”

Getting accidental freebies

Samson Kayo plays Maleek in Bloods

Samson recalls that he managed to bag some free snacks when he was filming, because the shop worker assumed he was a real paramedic.

He reveals: “We were shooting a scene and I went off to the shop to get a drink, and while I was in the shop the guy came up to me and was like ‘Yes brother! Thank you so much!’.

“And I was like ‘What’s the matter with him… how much is this?’

“‘No, for you, it’s free! Everything is free!’ and I was like what?! And I realised I had my ambulance uniform on.

“He was like ‘You want chocolate?’ and just gave me a bunch of chocolate. And I was like, it’s too long to explain that I’m acting. It would’ve taken too long.

“So I got back to set and gave everyone on set [chocolate], this is courtesy of that shop over there. It was so weird, I felt so bad. He was like ‘Take it, take it, go!’. It was nuts.”

Jane is an expert at table tennis

Jane Horrocks plays Wendy in Bloods

The cast enjoyed bonding off set, though Samson was annoyed by how good Jane was at table tennis.

“Everyone just really felt like team players and it almost felt like a college common room,” he reveals.

“We had a little table tennis thing and Jane was smashing everyone at table tennis. It really wound me up because I was giving it the big ‘un before and she just kept smashing me!”

Sam Campbell plays Darrell in Bloods

He also said he was slightly disturbed by Sam Campbell, who plays fellow paramedic Darrell, because he secretly created a shrine to Samson in his trailer.

Samson says: “Sam Campbell is brilliant. He was the prankster on set.

“He built a shrine of me in his trailer. He just had so many different pictures of me - he didn’t tell me for the whole shoot. One day I went in there and I was like ‘what the f***ing hell is that?!’ He just had a bunch of pictures of me in there and I never saw it, it was nuts!”

Samson didn’t want the show to be set during Covid

Lucy Punch and Julian Barrett in Bloods

Samson admits he had concerns about shooting during Covid and didn’t want it to look like the show was set during the pandemic.

“In episode one,  there’s this big massive pile-up and I was worried because everything was so limited,” he explains.

“I was like… you can’t just have one car and one extra with a neck brace or something. But Roughcut [the production company] were like ‘No, we’re really going to do it, we’re really going to go big and take as much precautions as possible and make sure everyone’s tested’. So we were able to get things done.”

He adds: “I didn’t want people to always remember Bloods as the time where they made that show during Covid. So we kind of reference in points to it being in the past more so than in the present.”

Laughter caused problems

Jane Horrocks and Samson Kayo in Bloods

The cast got on so well that it affected filming, the pair revealed.

Jane chuckles: “I do remember the second scene on the very first day, we were laughing so much. It didn’t bode well for the rest of the series!”

Samson laughs: “There was one scene where I couldn’t stay. There’s a singing scene, and I just kept laughing so I just decided to not be in it!

“When we start the scene I just walk off and let them do their thing.”

But Samson is thankful for the impressive cast that the team managed to get on board for the project.

He says: “When I found out that we had this cast, I was like ‘Covid hit everyone, nobody’s working, because there’s no way we’re getting Julian Barrett and Lucy Punch, Jane Horrocks and bloody Adrian Scarborough!’.

“Then you realise that they genuinely love the script, they genuinely love the world that we’re trying to create and they thought it was funny. I thought that was really warming to see, especially for me personally… I’m a big fan of Adrian. So when he came on, it was a really nice feeling.

“And with like KG [Kevin Garry], KG’s my friend and is one of the main reasons why I create these sort of shows: A) [to] inspire the youth that it is possible, and B) to also create roles for people that are around me and all my talented friends.

“I feel like I’m blessed to be in a position within comedy where I’m able to create all these shows and I’m being given the chance to create all these shows. For me to be able to bring all my friends in, who are equally as talented, and who are also doing amazing things within themselves, it was really inspiring.”

Every episode of Bloods is available on Sky One and NOW from May 5.

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