Damned – An interview with Jo Brand

Jo Brand

Jo Brand

Tonight at 9pm on Sky Arts a new social work sitcom ‘Damned’ written by Jo Brand and Morwenna Banks is aired.

The comedy is set in a social services department and is about harangued and stressed-out social workers.  Jo Brand, Alan Davies and Kevin Eldon are amongst the stars.

Sandra Wilson, SSSC Communications Officer puts a few questions to Jo who spared a few minutes out of her busy schedule:

Did your experiences of being a daughter of a social worker influence your writing?

Of course! I admire my mum very much for devoting herself for so long to a literally thankless task and doing a stressful and heartbreaking job which the vast majority of people would shy away from.

What do you think about the work that social workers do?

I admire anyone in this day and age who goes into social work.  It’s a complex job which requires a mix of common sense, intelligence, toughness and empathy.  The work is stressful, there’s too much of it and it can be frightening.

How do you think real-life social services compares with your portrayal?

It’s very hard to say as I’ve never been a social worker. Others will have to be the judge of that.    Tell us what you think below!

What are your thoughts on your character’s personality?

I know loads of grumpy stressed women my age, so I think my character is recognisable to many.  For a while social workers were pe‎rceived as posh, bountiful aristocrats.  I wanted to get across a message that social workers are loveable misfits like every other profession.

What kind of feedback are you hoping to get from people working in social services about the one-off show?

Most of all I hope it makes people laugh!

What’s the programme about?

Quoted from the British Comedy Guide:

Irritable, menopausal single parent Rose is having a bad day. After leaving her three sick children to be cared for by her mother, she breaks her phone, drops her coffee and arrives late for work at the social services department.

There’s no respite in the office, though, as Rose finds the floor as chaotic as her home. Martin, a former colleague who was let go due to mental problems, has managed to get into the building again, while Nat, a new temp devoid of any common sense, is struggling to get to grips with simple tasks on her first day.

Rose’s experienced, yet jaded, colleague Al helps her through the morning, taking every opportunity to mock the colourful characters that make up the rest of the floor.

Al hates the bureaucracy that comes with his job and consequently finds himself in constant battle with his pedantic and badly-dressed co-worker Nitin, a former policeman obsessed with performance targets.

Rose’s day gets gradually worse: a check on her mother and children leads her to discover they have all disappeared. Returning to the pandemonium of her office in a state of panic, Rose quickly finds herself faced with a crisis that threatens to throw her career into jeopardy.

 

Watch a clip here:

Watch the programme at 9pm on Sky Arts One channel number 221.

 

Interested in a career in social work?

Visit the SSSC website or click on the tag below to read more interesting articles:

 

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