Alison in a nutshell: Alison is 38 and decides she wants a baby. And after a string of unsuccessful rebound dates, decides maybe her ex wasn't so bad after all...
But don't take our word for it, see what Eileen had to say when we talked to her ahead of the new show.
EILEEN - HOW DID YOU GET THE PART?
I'd worked with Sharon before [in Catastrophe] and she'd mentioned it, and said, "There is the project in a couple of months..." Of course, saying that to an actor is a really bad mistake! I kept going, "Any news?" "Remember that project?" And she's like, "No news!" So, then I got some theatre work, and then I got a text from Sharon going, "We just checked the dates, and you're not available, and you said you were available." I was like, "Oh, f! Now I'm doing stupid theatre, and what the f am I going to do now?" And then I had to go the very normal route of going in and reading, and going again and reading, and then going again and reading, and then going in because Nina was cast, so I had to go and do a chemistry meet... I had to jump through so many hoops.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER ALISON.
So, Alison is hitting a point where she's ready to settle down, and she wants the package. She wants the fella, she wants the wedding, she wants the baby, she wants everything in place. She's got a reliable enough job, it's not thrilling, and I think that is in itself telling of the relationship that she's looking for too - she just wants a reliable relationship, it doesn't have to be thrilling. I've just got to tick boxes, get my uterus full, and that's fine. And then I suppose over the course of it she realises that you can't just tick boxes, sometimes it's more complicated than you think. Throughout the series you see her fella's family and you see her friends, but you don't see her family. You see her desperately trying to make her own family.
WHAT IS THE FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE THREE WOMEN LIKE?
I think what's brilliantly written within it, is that sometimes you get a certain thing from one friend that you don't necessarily look for in the other friend. With three friends my character Alison can share something with Katie, but she needs to protect it from Laura, or whatever, so there are different dynamics and I think that's beautifully done in the script.