Not Safe For Work – Preview: “I knew that this was a strong female character”

C4 brings dysfunctional comedy for the left out generation!

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Back in May, Inside Media Track sent Nick Pearmain to the Channel 4 Not Safe For Work press screening, which was followed by a Q&A with the writers and cast. Read what he had to say below…

Channel 4 has done it again! And this time, they’ve done it for the public who are stuck in their offices during the sunshine and others are out having all the fun. Beginning tomorrow (30th June), Not Safe For Work is a brand new dysfunctional comedy series about work for the left out generation which stars Zawe Ashton and Sacha Dhawan.

With Katherine finally accepting her divorce from her ex husband, she tries to get her life back on track. All this is set to change as Jeffries, Kat’s manager, reveals that she is being relocated from Whitehall to Northampton. As much as Katherine is left fuming about this, she has no choice but to pack her things and move to her new location, sadly this is only the beginning of bad news for her. Upon her arrival, she discovers that her new boss of Immigration pathways, Danny, happens to be an old work friend who has stolen some of her ideas and pretended to be a Muslim in order to jump up several pay grades. Jenny, who is disliked by everyone in the office due to her “silly excitement”, tries to be friends with Katherine but she tries to keep away from her as much as possible! As Katherine begins to get a tad happier due to her lovely new apartment, she discovers that she will be flat sharing… with Jenny And Jeffries!

The series is such a fresh of breath air. It may look dull and boring in the beginning, but what they have done is show us what life can be like working in an office most of your life, and they added a bit of sugar, spice and of course comedy into it as well. When asked why it was based in Northampton, writer D.C. Moore, commented “I was born and bred there. I have family in Northampton and is a pretty ignored place. I owe Northampton my work because they are both my passion. However, it isn’t filmed in Northampton, it’s filmed in Glasgow.”

I admire D.C. Moore so much and I am now a really big fan of his. Just by watching episode one, you can tell that he has done his research and has tried to share everyone’s experiences working in an office environment. Zawe Ashton who portrays Katherine in the series is, without a doubt, one of the most talented actresses I have come across. She quotes “After reading the script and reading only three pages, I knew that this was a strong female character. And I haven’t seen that in a very long time! I based Katherine on a friend who I met for lunch and she was so pissed off with work, which happens to be an office based in London aswell, which made it slightly funny.”

What I thought was extremely eye-catching, was Jenny’s character. Even thought this is a comedy-drama, it also involves work place bullying where it can happen time and again. The whole not wanting to talk to her or have anything to do with her and leaving her out of absolutely everything was put into a script with D.C. attempting to make it funny but serious at the same time, which is remarkable and tough. My gut feeling is telling me that this is going to be one of my all time favourites.

Not safe For Work begins on Channel 4 from Tuesday, 30th June at 10pm.