Mum's Lesley Manville
Mum's Lesley Manville
Mum's Lesley Manville

Ballykissangel wraps up this week. In its place, weekday afternoons at 3pm, starting Thursday, February 13th, we’ll be airing the much loved As Time Goes By and at 3:30pm a new addition to Afternoon Tea, Mum.

If you missed Mum when it aired during prime time, it’s one of those quirky comedies that the British do so well. It stars Lesley Manville as a recently widowed, suburban 59-year-old mum, who attempts to move on following husband’s death.

“It’s a comedy about grief,” says Manville, “but it’s also this beautiful love story about an ordinary, middle-aged woman falling in love.

Manville, who has been performing on stage and screen for 47 of her almost 63 years, is currently appearing in the film Ordinary Love, alongside Liam Neeson. They play a married couple dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis that upends their previously ordinary lives.

If you’re an Academy Award viewer, you might have seen Manville a couple of years ago, when she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Phantom Thread, where she played the sister of Daniel Day-Lewis’s character. Celebrating her nomination were her son and her first husband, Gary Oldham, who was also nominated that year, for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

Manville and Oldham are only the sixth pair of parents to be nominated for Oscars in the same year. Despite Oldham leaving Manville when their son was just three months old, the couple remain on friendly terms, as evidenced by their joint Oscar celebration. As Manville explained to the Hollywood Reporter, “Just because you’re divorced from somebody doesn’t mean you hate them.”

Manville certainly knows how to pick her leading men! Two years ago, she starred in both the West End and in Brooklyn, NY with Jeremy Irons in the Eugene O’Neill classic Long Day’s Journey into Night, where she played Mary Tyrone. Irons played her husband James. Then later this year, you can see Manville on the big screen again in the film Let Him Go, starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. The film tells the story of a retired sheriff and his wife’s fight to rescues their grandson from a dangerous off-grid family upon the death of their son.

If you’re thinking that all these Hollywood films have gone to the down to earth’s Manville’s head, think again! She reportedly has no intention of moving to California, is strongly against Botox, and she still enjoys driving herself, or taking public transportation – a bus or a tube. Another thing that doesn’t look as though it’ll change any day soon, is Manville’s popularity. As Manville likes to say “I’m having a late flowering career. Which is strange given I haven’t stopped working she I was 16!”

On Sunday, April 5 at 9:00 PM, Manville stars in the World War II drama World on Fire on MASTERPIECE. We’ll have more on that series later. In the meantime, you can see Manville in Mum airing at 3:30pm weekday afternoons starting Thursday, February 13th. Mum is preceded at 3pm by the very first episode of As Times Goes By.