7 Questions with… Jane Horrocks: 'Samson Kayo and I pined for each other when we were acting with different people on Bloods!'

In our 7 Questions interview, Absolutely Fabulous acting legend Jane Horrocks talks working with Samson Kayo on season 2 of ambulance comedy Bloods on Sky Comedy and NOW.

By Sophia Moir Updated: 18 August 2022 - 8.58am
Bloods Jane Horrocks image

Stream all new episodes of Bloods on Sky Comedy with NOW from Thursday 1 September. Previous Bloods episodes are streaming now.

Acclaimed British actress (and Absolutely Fabulous legend) Jane Horrocks returns in new episodes of Bloods season 2 alongside her partner-in-crime Samson Kayo next month.

The acting pair, who play mismatched paramedics Wendy and Maleek in the Sky Comedy series, clearly get along as well off-screen as they do filming the ambulance sitcom.

Speaking to us and other press, 58-year-old Horrocks answers seven burning questions about the show - including what's in store for Wendy and Maleek this series, and what the introduction of Wendy’s son Spencer means for the show…

1. Where do we find Wendy at the start of series 2?

Wendy and Maleek (Samson Kayo) have a massive challenge in this series. It will be interesting to know where the audience lean about whether Wendy has done the right thing, whether she’s let her partner down or whether she’s done what’s ethically right. Their friendship is still as solid as ever and it goes through highs and lows. 

It’s become more like a comedy-drama, really, because there’s such serious elements about mental health and what’s ethically right in the paramedic world. Wendy’s son Spencer (Nathan Foad) is also a big part of this series! He’s very annoying. Nathan is absolutely brilliant as Spencer and rises to the challenge.

Samson Kayo (Maleek), Nathan Foad (Spencer) and Jane Horrocks (Wendy) in Bloods season 2
Samson Kayo (Maleek), Nathan Foad (Spencer) and Jane Horrocks (Wendy) in Bloods season 2

2. Will we see more of Wendy’s backstory in series 2?

We don’t really go to their houses, we never see Wendy’s home. There is talk of a glitterball that Wendy picked up from a skip! You do get to know a bit more about her through her son, Spencer. You don’t really get to know much about her ex-husband, but you get to know a bit about what their life has been like. You absolutely get the reason why she scarpered and ran away to London! 

I loved my scenes with Nathan. It was mainly me, Samson and Nathan, filming in the ambulance. Those scenes are excellent. They’re very funny scenes. It doesn't say a lot for Wendy’s parenting - Spencer’s a very needy character and not very self-sufficient! 

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3. What was it like playing a different side to Wendy and Maleek's relationship this series?

They are very much bedded in by the second series. They’re just like the other half of each other really, they’re a complete partnership, even if they drive each other mad. I know that Maleek is still very irritated by Wendy and her old lady ways. In the end, he feels very comfortable with her. 

“When Samson and I were acting with different people, we pined for each other and couldn’t wait to get back to doing scenes together!”
- Jane on working with Samson

That was very interesting for us as actors, because when [Samson and I] were acting with different people, we pined for each other and couldn’t wait to get back to doing scenes together! It really works as a relationship on and off-screen. It’s developed in a really beautiful way. 

I love working with Samson… He’s very different to other actors I’ve worked with! He’s not precious about anything. Samson’s way of working is so refreshing. It’s more about having fun, and as a result of that, the fun comes off on screen - that we are actually having a good time.

4. This series sees Wendy belt out The Killers’ Mr Brightside in the ambulance with Maleek. Was that fun for you to film?

We were just given that song the night before [filming] - I knew the song but I didn’t know the lyrics. It’s not really Samson’s sort of music! We were struggling the whole way through filming, trying to remember the lyrics and the tune. 

I do have such a laugh with Samson and we have great difficulty not laughing together. There are scenes where I think ‘Gosh, that’s a danger zone, it’s going to be really hard for me to get through that scene’. In the first series, we were appalling at corpsing and wasted a lot of filming time being rather foolish and childish. 

Secrets from the Set of Bloods

Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks in Bloods

5. Is there much scope for ad-libbing on set?

The lines are very good, they’re fantastic. Because there’s a lot of re-writes, sometimes I find that the lines that I think are really good are gotten rid of and I want them reinstated! 

When we’re in the ambulance, Samson and I do improvise quite a lot. Samson, as co-creator of the show, sometimes re-writes his stuff, some of the street talk he says is a bit different to what’s been written. 

6. What was Katherine Kelly like to work with?

I didn’t really have much to film with Katherine to be honest because most of her characters’ scenes were with Jo (Lucy Punch). I had a few little group moments with her, but not that many on our own together. She brought a great dynamic to it. She’s fantastic in the role [of the ambulance station's new counsellor, George] as well. 

George has completely opposite views on mental health to Jo, who’s running a tight ship. [She thinks] 'should they spend their time counselling and talking about people’s issues, or being out there saving lives?' It’s an interesting dilemma. It’s a dichotomy. 

Katherine Kelly joins the cast of Bloods as counsellor George
Katherine Kelly joins the cast of Bloods as counsellor George

7. What do you love about playing Wendy?

I love playing Wendy because of her positivity, she sees the best in life. But also, she challenges Maleek in a fun, left-field way. That’s where the humour comes from. He doesn’t really know how to deal with her, especially some of the sexual stuff she comes out with! She has a better sex life than him. He just can’t get his head around that because he just sees her as gran. 

I love Wendy. She makes me feel good about being me. I’m so pleased that there may be talk of more series! I come home without any issues playing Wendy and I can keep her with me in a really healthy way. Sometimes, with previous characters, they stay with you and it’s not that healthy. I have a sentimental attachment to Wendy. I think she’s lovely. 

Stream all new episodes of Bloods on Sky Comedy with NOW from Thursday 1 September. Previous Bloods episodes are streaming now.