What ITV's The Family Pile is about, cast and where you've seen them before

by 24britishtvJan. 17, 2023, 10 p.m. 14
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TV viewers will get to enjoy a new ITV comedy with new show The Family Pile.

The sitcom tells the story of four sisters - Nicole, Ursula, Yvette and Gaynor - who, in the aftermath of their parents’ deaths, prepare to sell their childhood home.

Written by Brian Dooley (creator of The Smoking Room), the series aims to show that even in life’s darkest moments, there are still laughs to be had.

Leading the cast is Amanda Abbington, Clare Calbraith, Claire Keelan, and Alexandra Mardell as the sisters. Kieran O'Brien, Richard Pepple and James Nelson-Joyce also appear.

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Cheshire-born Calbraith, who plays “lively, glass half full” middle sister Yvette, is known for her roles in period dramas Homes Fires, Heartbeat and Downton Abbey.

Clare, 49, also appeared in 18 episodes of Coronation Street back in 2005 as Martin Platt's partner Robyn.

Speaking ahead of the first episode she said: "We are so rubbish in this country at death, we’re so silent about it, and we all go through it and we’re all miserable on our own, and there’s something about sharing that awfulness that just helps."

Keelan, who plays “perfectionist” high-achiever Ursula, is known for her comedy roles as Claire Ashcroft in Nathan Barley and Steve Coogan's assistant Emma in The Trip.

Calbraith, has also appeared in episodes of Black Mirror, Cold Feed and Line of Duty.

Ahead of the show the 47-year-old said: "I’m one of five sisters, and we also lost our mum not that long ago.

"You know, when it does happen, it isn’t all schmaltzy and sentimental.

"There’s moments of huge, horrific pain, of course, which everyone knows, but there are moments of almost hysterical humour. Everything is so heightened around those times that when you start laughing it’s such a release."

She said that The Family Pile seeks to show how 'you can have more of a laugh, which is, I think, what a lot of women our age start to realise'.

Calbraith added: “It’s like there’s this loosening of not giving a s***, really, and you can have a lot of fun with that.

"Being this age, where you are going through the trials and tribulations of midlife, whether you’ve got kids or not, losing parents, all these sorts of things – mostly, I’ve found with my friends, how we get through it is humour. You know, if you don’t laugh…"

Viewers will also recognise Alexandra Mardell who is taking on her first major role since leaving Coronation Street.

Alexandra, who plays Gaynor, appeared in the soap as Emma Brooker between 2018 and 2022 and won the British Soap Award for Best Newcomer at the 2019 British Soap Awards for her role.

Over Christmas the 29-year-old was crowned winner of Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special with dance partner Kai Widdrington.

Amanda Abbington, who plays 'matriarchal', 'acerbic' and loyal eldest sister Nicole, has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows and is best known for playing Miss Mardle in Mr Selfridge and Mary Watson in Sherlock.

Most recently the 48-year-old appeared as a regular in Sky Max police drama Wolfe.

The Family Pile was filmed in Liverpool with the support of Liverpool Film Office’s Production Fund and to be distributed by Hat Trick International.

The Family Pile starts on ITV1 at 9.30pm on Tuesday, January 17.
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