Michelle Keegan and Jason Manford's new BBC drama Ordinary Lies explores what happens when a little white lie can get out of hand. It's a subject stand-up comedian Jason knows a thing or two about – as he revealed during an exclusive Q&A with the stars of the show on Thursday in London.
"Me and Michelle had a bit of a lie on set", Jason told HELLO! Online. "We had paparazzi knocking about... we just found moments to have a hug when the fella was watching, and then someone asked me in the street and I posted it on Facebook that Michelle was playing my wife."
The cast of Ordinary Lies, a new BBC drama
Jason admitted that this caused some media outlets to run stories that suggested Michelle's fiancé Mark Wright was not a happy man - much to the amusement of ther fellow cast members.
Ordinary Lies follows six characters, who all work together in a car showroom. Each episode follows a particular character as their spur-of-the-moment lies snowball out of control. Former Coronation Street actress Michelle stars alongside another Weatherfield graduate, Sally Lindsay, as well as EastEnders star Jo Joyner, and Pirates of the Carribbean actor Mackenzie Crook.
HELLO! Online blogger Michelle Keegan takes a starring role in episode two
Award-winning writer Danny Brocklehurst created the show and admits that his driving force was a desire to study duplicity: "You think you know people and particularly people you work with, but even friends, and to some degree people you live with, there are always some secrets and some lies, and I wanted to explore that," he said.
During the Q&A the cast keep riffing off each other, and when asked what the atmosphere was like on set, they're all quick to say that they do truly get on well.
"I spent my career alone, on tour, so it was great having workmates," revealed Jason. "I’ve never ever worked in an office, so to come in and have the same people every day, and the make-up and the wardrobe, and have those same faces, it was a brilliant atmosphere, and we were all laughing."
Jason Manford and Sally Lindsay in Ordinary Lies
Mackenzie agrees: "We did all get on very well because we’re set in this mothership, which was the showroom... so for the three months filming, there was a great atmosphere."
For her part, Jo adds: "The nature of the casting means there’s no starry element and everyone gets a moment."
HELLO! Online blogger Michelle left Corrie in 2014 to focus on new projects, but admitted that her time on the ITV soap was an "amazing platform".
"Day in, day out , for 12 hours with amazing storylines - it does give you an amazing experience," she revealed.
Her Corrie chracter Tina was known for her bold fashion choices, but what about her new on-screen persona? Michelle says: "I would say Tracy is a little bit more glamourous than Tina... not too much!"
Jo Joyner and Max Beesley's storyline runs throughout the six episodes
When asked if Ordinary Lies was the type of drama she was hoping for as her first post-Corrie role, Michelle is adamant that this was the job for her.
"I got a few scripts, but this was the one that I really wanted. I left and thought, 'I’ve got to get that job'. I can relate to her, she’s a normal girl, she’s in a job that just gets her by, pays for the clothes and the make-up, and she just wants to better her life, and that’s what gets her in trouble."
Michelle's storyline, which unfolds in episode two, is an extreme situation that is sure to prove Michelle's acting ability to viewers.
"When you first see her [Tracy] on holiday, she’s having a great time with her mate, having cocktails, and then it turns really sinister," admits Michelle.
Ordinary Lies starts on BBC One in March.