One weekend in May last year I got a call. 'The second series of
Lip Service is currently filming,' said the voice on the line.
'Would you like to go on set today?'
'Today?!' I spluttered, in disbelief. I gathered myself and
tried to sound cool about it. 'Yeah, sure...'
Flyers advertising for extras had been left across gay
establishments in Glasgow in the previous months, in an attempt to
attract more 'real-life-looking lesbians' into the show, perhaps.
Wanting to be part of the experience, and considering myself a fair
example of the genuine article, I called. A few forms and a
positive answer to the 'Would you be willing to kiss a girl on
camera' question later, I was on the list.
Almost as quickly as I arrived on set there was a
confidentiality agreement to sign. 'What happens on Lip Service,
stays on Lip Service,' the production assistant told me, looking
strict. While detracting from the prospect of giggling with friends
over a drink afterwards, the secrecy added something to the allure.
Gossip would have to wait, Lip Service rules came first.
Then, it was showtime. As Ruta Gedmintas (Frankie) sauntered
into shot behind me I had to try and contain the urge to casually
glance over my shoulder. Meanwhile, Heather Peace (Sam) was
delivering a more measured performance in front.
There was location-change in the air. Whispers had gone round
set earlier in the day: 'Where are we going?' 'Are we going
to ------------?' (See? The secrecy clause is still in
place.) The flutter of excitement was palpable. Soon we were
ushered onto a fleet of mini-buses. Upon arrival we found ourselves
in a leafier part of the city.
Heather Peace rehearsed a scene in which she whips out her
police badge (calm down). There followed two hours of being eaten
by midges and horse-flies, their bigger, meaner cousins, and trying
not to be entirely in the shadow of a very tall actor. For the
lucky extras, there was a cuppa and a Penguin biscuit on offer just
prior to the end of filming. Everything's on a budget these
The next day we were filming at a Georgian-style house in the
city's West End. Here, I was practically tripping over the likes of
Jay, Tess, Judy and Heather. Except that wouldn't have been
the best idea as I had to walk past them all and not trip
up. Suddenly walking in a straight line becomes a task. After my
first take, Heather winked at me. She understood the pressure.
Many of the crew members wore sweatshirts adorned with the
infamous phrase uttered by Cat's mum Judy in series one: 'We're all
a little bit gay, dear.' Later, after filming had finished, Phyllis
Logan told me I had swished 'elegantly' through shot. Oh my! I may
only have had to walk a few steps, but at least I managed it in
said fashion. Later I giddily recounted the compliment to my mum,
who was beside herself at the thought.
What happened on set only stays secret til this Friday 20 April,
9pm. Then you can see for yourselves. As for me, blink and you
might miss my moment in the Lip Service limelight. However, I'll be
keeping an eye out for my scene-stealing sashay around episode
three... Hello mum!
Lip Service returns to BBC Three, 9pm Fridays from
Check divamag.co.uk for episode recaps, every
Watch out for an exclusive interview with Heather
Peace in the next issue of DIVA magazine, out 10