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Appearance on Breakfast (2004)

Interviewer:
Nicky Chapman

Broadcast by:
BBC One, BBC News 24

"[??]" is used to indicate uncertain transcription phrases.

The video clip begins with Chapman walking along a path toward a bench, on which Wendy already sits holding a bright yellow umbrella against the drizzle and grey sky.

NC : "With all dramas there are tears, and if you're going to cry, this is the place to do it, because we are by the wailing bench.  Wendy Richard is with me this morning.  Good morning!"

WR : "Hi!"

NC : "It's a little bit wet today, isn't it, in true EastEnders style . . ."

WR : "It is, yes . . ."

NC : "Here we are, on Arthur Fowler's bench.  'He loved this place.'  What a lovely sentiment. 'Cause you must have very, very fond memories.  And we've just been talking to Sonia and Martin; are they going to be the new Pauline and Arthur?"

WR : "Well, I hope so.  I hope they're going to have a happier life than poor Pauline and Arthur, who been through the past, well, nearly twenty years now."

NC : "But that's the longest marriage, isn't it, on the whole of the Square!"

WR : "That's right.  Yeah."

NC : "And you've had your ups and downs . . ."

WR : "Yes, we did indeed; like most couples."

NC : "But that's what I like.  It's so realistic, isn't it?  People can relate to it; they can see their storyline and think that might have happened to me, or I know someone it could have happened to."

WR : "Um-hmm.  Because if you remember, Pauline was pregnant with Martin when EastEnders first started.  And I had a letter from a young girl -- I think she was thirteen at the time -- and she said, oh, my mother's having a late baby, and I hate it, because I won't be made a fuss of any more, and I wrote back to her, and I sent her a [?] T-shirt as a present.  And she wrote back to me about a year later and said, she's got a baby sister, and she really loves her, and everything's fine.  [?]"

NC : "How nice.  Oh, because Pauline is the moral backbone, isn't she, of the Square?"

WR : "Yeah, absolutely."

NC : "She has very high principles."

WR : "She does, and she fights tooth and nail for her family.  And she's not really a miserable person; she's a worrier, but she cares."

NC : "Yeah, you can see that.  Because she wants to sort of mother everybody, and she wants everything to be perfect."

WR : "Yes."

NC : "Sometimes it might be a bit misjudged  . . . she's there, isn't she?  Do you ever think of Pauline and think 'she wouldn't do that', or she'd react different, when you're looking at the script?"

WR : "Oh, yes, I do.  Yes, I do, I'm afraid.  I think I know her better than anyone.  Sometimes I have a few words with the director or the producer [?] 'look, I don't think Pauline would do this or say that'."

NC : "Because you're quite protective of her . . ."

WR : "Oh, absolutely.  Pauline's been extremely good to me, and I've got to look after her."

NC : "Yeah.  Now, nineteen years; how has Pauline changed over that time, 'cause you must have seen so many changes here?"

WR : "Well, she wears a bit of eye shadow now . . . "

NC : "She's glamorous!  The cardie's gone!"

WR : "Well, she hasn't wore a cardigan for over ten years.  But if ever they want to knock Pauline, they always bring in the cardie and everything -- I don't know why, but there you are.  And she's lightened her hair and she's had it cut; she's tidied herself up a bit . . ."

NC : "She is looking good.  She even had a facepack on last week, didn't she?  With Dot . . ."

WR : "Oh, yes; that was funny . . ."

NC : "That was very funny.  But we like that; a bit of humor, because she does get some great lines, doesn't she?"

WR : "She does.  You see, June and I work very well together.  And there's some good looks that pass between the two of us.  You know, because some people . . . I've got a look that can freeze an ox at a hundred yards.  I think I learned them in my former life when I worked with Mrs. Slocombe, because she was always doing that.  I learned that from Molly Sugden."

NC : "Dot and Pauline do row, don't they?"

WR : "Well, they do, but they love each other really, because Dot was Pauline's mum's friend, Lou's friend, and I suppose really Dot is the only link that Pauline has with the past now, you know."

NC : "That's true, yeah.  They have that bond, don't they?  They do have that bond."

WR : "Yes, absolutely . . ."

NC : "Could I ask you a favor?  Dot smoking in the launderette:  it always upsets me.  Because all those nice clean clothes, and there she is talking to you, puffing away!"

WR : "Yes."

NC : "You'll have to tell her to stand outside next time, won't you?"

WR : "I can't do that, because sometimes I have a cigarette myself, and we'd both be out there!"

NC : "Now it is like a second home to you, isn't it?  Nineteen years, so you're very, very fond of the character.  Do you have certain superstitions and traditions when you come here?"

WR : "No, not really.  I mean, I've lived in Pauline's house longer than I've lived in my own.  And when we're doing scenes in Pauline's parlor, I always check, you know, the photographs are all in the right place, because I know it so well.  And I think people, the viewers at home, would notice that.  You remember, Hylda [?].  It's things like that . . ."

NC : "We know your house so well.  You always have fresh fruit from the town stall in the fruit bowl.  Does the fruit bowl ever move?"

WR : "[?]There's a running gag with the cameraman.  He wanted to move the fruit blow, and I sort of gave him one of my looks.  He said, 'just a couple of inches, Wendy, that's all right.'  But I actually moved the fruit bowl myself the other day, and you could hear a sharp intake of breath from the crew:  'oooh, she moved the fruit bowl herself!'  I mean, we haven't got time to waste time, but we do have a good rapport with the crew, and we all know what little jokes to have, you know what I mean?  Just to relieve the tension, and then we get on with the day's work."

NC : "You can't beat that teamwork, can you?"

WR : "Absolutely, and without the expert teamwork that we have here both sides of the camera, we wouldn't be able to do the program."

NC : "Absolutely,  Now, next week, I believe there's quite a dramatic storyline coming, and you're quite heavily involved in that, aren't you?"

WR : "Oh, yes, that's the . . . it's Dot and Pauline in the portacabin, I believe."

NC : "Well, we know you're doing refreshments.... so it's obviously a step on from that . . ."

WR : "Yes, we're doing refreshments for the local charity, and we're serving them in the portacabin, with our homemade cakes.  And Dot's very rude about my fruitcake."

NC : "How rude?  What's on with that?"

WR : "Well, she says it doesn't agree with a lot of people; it's probably very heavy, and anyway she's got her fairycake."

NC : "We know it's heavy next week, so we've got lots to look forward to.  Thank you very much for letting us join you here.  We very rarely get to see behind the scene; we know we've been spoiled today, so thank you very much."


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