[pressgang] Interview: Kelda Holmes

Laura Nunn Laura at salmo.demon.co.uk
Sat Nov 15 20:27:57 GMT 1997


Kelda on the Line

Kenny Phillips may be able to "nice" for Britain, but chances are he'd
be pipped at the post by Kelda Holmes.

I'd met Kelda Holmes previously at the "Press Gang" conventions, and I
thought it would be great if I could interview her for "Gang Way".  I
rang her agent who promised to get in touch with Kelda.  However, I
tried not to raise my hopes.  Therefore I was extremely surprised (and
of course delighted) to pick up the 'phone the very same day, only to
hear Kelda at the other end!  What's more, Kelda agreed to do the
interview there and then and on her 'phone bill!  Kenny would stand no

If this were an up-market article, or a scene from "Press Gang", and if
I were trying to impress you, I'd begin by describing the expensive
restaurant where the interview took place, having had time to absorb it
all, as I would have had a high-tech tape recorder.  As it actually
happened, I was sitting in the kitchen, talking into the 'phone and
scribbling notes with my free hand. 

The interview ran as follows:

So, what have you been doing since "Press Gang"?

I went to Paris for a year to a drama school there, and then I did an
Access course in Humanities (English, Philosophy and History) for a
year, with the intention of going on to do a degree at university.
However, I decided not to do that, and recently I've been working in an
adventure playground with children with learning difficulties.  Also
I've been doing voluntary work in theatre productions, doing the
lighting and sound at the International Summer School.  I have also
worked at the Royal Court Theatre, doing stage managing at an Asian
Writers' workshop.

What are your plans for the future?

To go to college in Bromley to do a two-year degree in professional

You attended both of the "Press Gang" conventions - what were your
reactions to them and what memories do you have of them?

I want to say something more than, 'It was nice'!  Umm...they always
treat us to a slap-up meal!  Reactions?  I was surprised that people
came from as far as Australia to attend.  I thought it was a shame that
all of the "Press Gang" cast weren't there.  

Why do you think that "Press Gang" has a continued following, even more
than three years after the last broadcast (in Britain anyway)?

Because they never make any decent children's television!  Except for
"Wallace and Gromit", and that wasn't with actors as such, was it?

We know that a "Press Gang" film, "Deadline" has been written; would you
be willing to resume your role as Sarah in this?

Oooh, I don't know.  I feel that it's all finished now - it's been so
long.  The oldest member of the cast is 30!  However, for financial
reasons, I'd have to say yes!

If you'd been given control of the script, what would you have done with
"Press Gang"?

I probably shouldn't say this, but I will anyway.  I would have tackled
gay issues, which "Press Gang" never did, as it wasn't deemed suitable
for a children's programme.  Also the issue of racism which we never

How well did the "Press Gang" cast get on together?  Were there lots of

No, not really, we got on pretty well.  It was a kind of "us and them"
thing with the cast and the crew.  It was fun.

If you can remember, which was your favourite episode?

Ummm.  (Long pause)  I can remember loads, but I can't think of my
favourite.  Of the ones I was in, I liked "Friends Like These".  The one
in the second series.

Finally, can you give us any current "behind the scenes" gossip or

Oh, that's a broad question.  Steven (Moffat) has got a new series
called "Chalk" coming, and Paul (Reynolds) has written some stuff that
ITV are looking at.


So, having decided that I'd imposed on her 'phone bill enough, I thanked
Kelda for ringing me back, for her time and for agreeing to do the
interview, and I'm sure we all wish her every success in the future.

Interview by Laura Nunn

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