The best ever British sitcom Christmas episodesDec 3 | 8 min read
7 Questions with Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont: 'I can’t work out if our marriage is normal or horrific'
Meet the Richardsons is back with a Christmas special on Dave. We caught up with its stars for their verdict on what makes a perfect holiday season.
“At this point I’ll take any Christmas that can happen.” 8 Out of 10 Cats star Jon Richardson is probably speaking for all of us in 2020 in keeping his fingers crossed for a smooth ending to the year.
“Anything that we can perceivably call a Christmas. Where we sit around eat some food and drink some alcohol, I will absolutely grab with two hands.”
Lucy Beaumont, Jon’s wife and co-star in the hit Dave series Meet the Richardsons, is being a tad more ambitious.
“I want to make the best Christmas dinner they’ve ever had. Where they go, ‘Oh God, we’re such bad cooks compared to you’. You know, where it’s all that they can talk about,” she said.
“I don’t want them to say that I’m a better cook than Jon, but I want to see it in their eyes.”
Fans of the Richardsons' first series - a hearty dollop of Northern comedy sunshine still available to watch on UKTV Play - can look forward to a two-part Christmas special that finds the duo once again at odds with each other.
We caught up with the married couple to find out if they really do argue over board games, look back at their best and worst Christmas presents and discover whose favourite Christmas film is The Shawshank Redemption...
1. Do you prefer a big family Christmas or a quiet one?
Jon: You like the idea of Christmas with just us. But I like as many people as possible.
Lucy: I work quite hard and I’ve always worked quite hard. The years I used to be working two jobs, when it came to Christmas I just liked watching telly on my own. Just chill out and sit on the settee.
Jon: The first rule of PR interviews is that you never say you work quite hard. That never sits well with the nurses and the people in construction reading the interview. To those people, I know we don’t work hard. We may do long hours now and again, pretending to be ourselves, but we don’t work hard.
Lucy: I don’t do anything important. I don’t stand on my feet all day. But I work hard compared to somebody who isn’t working hard.
Jon: [Laughs] What she means is that her marriage is hard so she’s constantly exhausted.
2. Has lockdown improved your relationship or made it harder?
Lucy: Have you had Covid? I just wondered.
Jon: She’s gone rogue. You’re the last interview of the day. I’ll have to keep reeling her back in.
Lucy: You can see why people divorce. But actually with us, it’s the pressure we put on ourselves, spending money and deciding who does jobs and who stays home that makes us argue. All the things we argue about had gone this year.
Jon: We’re basically looking forward to retirement now because we know only then will we stop arguing.
I can’t work out if the way our marriage is at the moment is normal or horrific. Generally speaking we don’t get on, apart from when we go away or go on holiday to a hotel. And I can’t work out if that’s normal and everyone finds everyday life stressful. Or should we be able to get on with each other in normal life and that even the couples who hate each the most get on with each on holiday. I’m still figuring that out, so watch this space.
We’ll still do another series regardless. It will just be featured in the courts more than the pubs in Hebden Bridge.
I might not want to do another series with you.
I might want to do the next series with Rob Beckett
- Lucy Beaumont
Lucy: They might not want another series on Dave. I might not want to do another series with you. I might want to do the next series with Rob Beckett.
Jon: You’re more than welcome to.
Lucy: You can just pop in. I might write you into a relationship with Sally Phillips.
Jon: This is what I’m on about. You know when you say in an interview we work hard. This is our fifth interview of the day and then we’re done for the day. It’s only quarter to five and you’ve already got to the point where you’re saying you don’t want to do another series and you’re asking the person doing the interview if they’ve got Covid. We’ve only done two hours' work and your head’s gone.
3. What’s your best ever Christmas present?
Jon: I got a Bat Cave when I was a kid. It was like a tent that was a Bat Cave inside. An absolutely amazing present.
You got me a signed Leeds shirt. Although looking back now, it was probably one of the worst eras ever for Leeds United. It’s only a couple of years ago, but it’s signed by players who most of them are now working at Kwik Fit. But the frame is lovely.
Lucy: My worst is the dress you got me. It doesn’t fit. It’s not what I meant.
Jon: You have started something now. I thought that was a good one.
4. You talk about going to Jools Holland’s Hootenanny in the special. What’s the best freebie you’ve both blagged?
Jon: I absolutely love free beer. We had a massive argument when we first moved up here to Hebden, I stormed out and went to a local called The Shoulder of Mutton. The landlord gave me a free pint and it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.
He just knew, "there’s a man who needs some time on his own with a pint". That was such a special moment. People say men don’t communicate emotions, but he read everything in my face and knew exactly what he needed. It was a very sensual moment actually.
But we don’t get a great deal. We wouldn’t be good influencers I don’t think. Anyone who saw us at the airport on our honeymoon and who watched Lucy trying to get us a free upgrade on our flight, can attest to how hard it is for us to get things for free and how readily we fail.
You were only just short of cutting a hole in your trousers and pinching yourself to make yourself cry to get us premium economy. But it didn’t work.
5. What is the essential Christmas movie in your house?
Jon: There isn’t a Christmas film I don’t like. We started early this year. I’ve already done Grinch, Scrooged. Scrooged is probably one of the best Christmas films ever made.
Lucy: Shawshank Redemption. I like watching that at Christmas.
Jon: Not a Christmas film. Home Alone 1 and 2.
Lucy: The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas.
Jon: Oh my God. I can only apologise... The Rock with Sean Connery. We’ll watch that at Christmas. We’ll raise a glass to Sean.
6. After the year we've all had, how are you going to make Christmas 2020 feel special?
Jon: Well, I’ll have a novelty jumper on. We don’t really drink together. You’re not one for drinking together to excess in the house. And I have to commend you for that really.
Lucy: Drink for me is what you have when you go out. I like to drink when I dance to music. Before I met Jon, I never drank at home before.
Jon: I drink to subdue the pain of existence.
7. Do you both argue over board games on Christmas Day?
Jon: When it comes to Christmas, she’s a miserable bastard who wants to treat Christmas like its April the 12th, have a bit of tea and watch Family Fortunes. I cherish the true spirit of Christmas, spending time with loved ones and doing general knowledge quizzes.
Lucy: I am a bit worried this year that with all the Zoom quizzes that there may be some general apathy to Christmas quizzes and they’ll be less well received. But I’ve deliberately steered away from that whole Zoom quiz community so that I’m white hot for Christmas. I’m ready to go.
Watch Meet the Richardsons at Christmas on Wednesday December 9 at 10pm on Dave (BT TV channel 19).
Catch up on Meet the Richardsons season 1 on the UKTV Play app on your BT TV box.