What We Did On Our Holiday Directors Praise Stars David Tennant And Billy Connolly

The team behind the brand new BBC Films release What We Did On Our Holiday have had very admiring things to say about their stars, Billy Connolly and David Tennant. Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton, also responsible for the much-loved BBC sitcom Outnumbered, created and directed the bitter-sweet movie, due for release in UK cinemas next week.

David Tennant stars as father-of-three Doug, a Scot living in London, whose marriage has broken down to the point of divorce. Nevertheless, he and estranged wife Abi (Rosamund Pike) temporarily call a truce to take the children on a trip up to Scotland to celebrate the 75th birthday of Doug's father Gordie (Billy Connolly). The children are under strict instructions to keep their parents' impending split a secret from the extended family due to Gordie's ill health. But, when an unexpected event occurs everyone has to put their differences aside and pull together. 

The directors praised David's comedic skills.

 “David is an actor both of us had wanted to work with for a long time," said Guy Jenkin. "We lie along the fault line between comedy and drama and, although we had mostly seen David doing drama, we felt he would be perfect for our writing. We are very pleased to have got hold of him. He is very quick on comedy and can be very real at the same time. You find in the edit that one look goes an awful long way.”

Andy and Guy were shocked to find, post-filming, that Billy Connolly, whose character in the film is fighting cancer, had also been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer himself as well as Parkinson's disease. 

“We didn’t know about Billy’s health problems during the film,” said Andy Hamilton, who also admitted that Billy was their only choice for Gordie.“He was very stoic. I presumed there was stuff going on but that wasn’t a problem for us, he just soldiered on and was very professional. It was only after we finished that he told us he was having the surgery for prostate cancer, which was a success, and we learned later about the diagnosis of Parkinson’s.

“He did a brilliant job of making sure that it wasn’t our problem. We were really impressed that he had managed so well.”

The film also boasts some stand out performances from the younger members of the cast, notably Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge and Harriet Turnbull, who play Doug and Abi's children. Ben Miller joins them as Doug's ambitious brother Gavin, with Amelia Bullmore as his wife and Lewis Davie as their son. Other cast members include Annette Crosbie and Celia Imrie. 

Read the full article on the Daily Record site

What We Did On Our Holiday reaches UK cinemas on Friday 26th September. Find out more about the film on our website