Celebrities choose the TV moments that have shaped their lives. EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy goes on a journey through the TV moments of her childhood.
Browse content similar to Natalie Cassidy. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Telly - that magic box in the corner.
It gives us access to a million different worlds,
all from the comfort of our sofa.
In this series, I'm going to journey through the fantastic world of TV
with some of our favourite celebrities.
'They've chosen the precious TV moments that shed light...'
Think that one out!
It's called scone pizza.
'..on the stories of their lives.'
I used to go mental if a swimmer was on and it'd just, like, make my life!
'Some are funny...'
Oh, my word!
-There's been a mur-der!
-My mother didn't laugh that much. It was hard going.
But God, she laughed at that.
'..some are inspiring...'
In all of those programmes, in different ways,
there's something special going on.
'..and many are deeply moving.'
The death of John F Kennedy.
Now, we can't imagine what it was like to receive
such devastating news then.
'So, come watch with us as we hand-pick the vintage telly that
'helped turn our much-loved stars into the people they are today.'
Welcome to The TV That Made Me.
My guest today is a household name
and an actress who has been in our lives for most of her life.
Natalie Cassidy has been on our screens for over 20 years.
She's shocked Albert Square...
You're having a baby!
..and shone brightly on Strictly.
The TV that made her was a world of Fools...
of furry faces...
and no Saturday was complete without a House Party.
To her daughter, she's Mum.
To her friends and family, she's Natalie.
But to me and you,
she is best known as Sonia Jackson from EastEnders.
-How are you?
-Are you excited about this?
-Do you watch a lot of telly?
-Er, I don't watch much now.
But when I was younger, I watched a lot of telly.
Now, Natalie, today we're going to watch a handful of TV shows,
-TV classics that you have chosen.
-That have moulded you into the woman you are today.
So what was it like, your living room? What was it like growing up?
-Well, we were always in the same house.
-From when I was very little.
And we lived in Islington and, er, it was a big townhouse and, er...
I just remember we had a very, very deep red carpet
and lovely coffee table.
Um, actually, all the furniture that was in the living room,
my dad's still got to this day.
-So it's very lovely, very comforting for me...
When I go round to see my dad, and I sit on that sofa,
I'm always asleep, I always have a curl up,
he goes, "You always kip when you come round 'ere!"
I say, "It's just cos I feel like I'm little again."
-My mum was immaculate. She was a housewife.
She didn't, you know, never go to work, her work was her house and us.
-So it was an immaculate house.
And when you used to curl up on the sofa...
Well, I remember having days off, you know, from school,
-cos I didn't feel very well, you know.
And my mum was very, er, easily led and she'd say,
"All right, you can stay home."
I just remember, you know, tea and biscuits and sitting on the sofa.
-Did you have pillows?
-We'll get some pillows.
I want you to feel at home today, Natalie, I want this to be
-a joyous experience for you.
-Oh, that's lovely.
-What do we think?
-They're perfect. I might take those to work with me.
-Yeah? Are they the sort of pillows you would've had?
What else would you have, just to feel at home?
-You know, Mum, Dad, you?
-Brothers popping in and out.
-They were older.
-Any little snacks?
-Yeah. I'd always have a few snacks.
-We've got snacks.
-I want you to feel at home. I want you to feel at home.
-A few crisps?
-That's exactly what I'd have.
-Want to have a crisp?
-I will have a crisp.
-Yeah, let's have a crisp.
Let's have a crisp.
'At seven years old, Natalie and her two big brothers
'could've been watching Sylvester McCoy play the Doctor...
'..Baldrick having his final cunning plan
'in Blackadder Goes Forth,
'or joining 24 million viewers
'who tuned in to see Den Watts fall into a canal
'after being shot in EastEnders.
'But young Natalie had her eye on a gentler type of telly.'
-You had your pillows.
-You had your crisps.
-You had your ham sandwich.
-And you would be watching
-something like this.
Is anything the matter, Why?
-Well, you look as if you might have overslept.
Well, you were asleep when I got here...
'Playdays started out as Playbus in 1988
'and was designed to be a TV teacher
'helping preschool children learn through play.
'Each weekday episode had its own regular theme
'and, if that sounds familiar, it's because it built upon
'the sturdy foundations laid by Play School,
'which ran from 1964 to '88.'
-It's the Why Bird Stop.
I used to like the Why Bird Stop, so I'd be happy with that.
But there were some stops which would change the programme
-that were a bit boring.
-That was a good one.
'The show ended in 1997, but its learn through play ethos
'spawned a whole channel of fun yet educational shows
'in the shape of CBeebies in 2002.'
Should they bring those things back? Do you think it was a simpler time?
Do you think your daughter would enjoy it?
They've still got really good...
They've got some really good programmes, actually, that are still
simple and nice and what they should be like, so, actually, I don't...
I think that now, to my daughter, would probably be a little bit dated.
-She watches telly.
-She's a telly addict.
The first thing she says when she wakes up is, "Mummy, can I watch
-"the telly?" And I'm like, "Well, calm down a minute."
-But is it...?
-Well, I don't know now, it's not Teletubbies any more, is it?
It's all... Well, it's quite funny, because I try and make her watch
-the ones I used to watch, there's still a few on, you know, so...
-Postman Pat I try and make her watch, cos I used to love that.
I loved Postman Pat and she's like, "I don't really like that."
Well, unfortunately, we've got a lot more work to do.
Look at all this filing that needs to be done.
-What you need, Why, is a nice cup of tea...
What sort of memories are conjured up? You sitting on the sofa?
Yeah, it's just lovely, cos I haven't got my mum any more.
I lost my mum when I was 19, so, any of this, you know,
it's just lovely, cos you've got all the memories
-of, like, being with your mum and being at home.
-And they're nice memories, do you know what I mean?
If I hear, you know, The Darling Buds Of May theme tune
or, you know, those Sunday night programmes, you remember?
-Like the House of Eliott...
-..or like Campion.
-You know, all those things, like theme tunes...
-Just bring it all up?
-Yeah, bring it all back.
-You cosying up.
-And life was easy, wasn't it? Because you didn't have to earn money.
-You got, like, chauffeured about everywhere.
You got fed, watered, the only, like, worry was
if, like, your pen had run out.
-For colouring in, that would be the highlight of the day.
But Natalie was earning money from a very young age.
Born in Islington in 1982, she attended
the Anna Scher Children's Theatre, whose alumni included
Birds of a Feather's Linda Robson and Pauline Quirke.
EastEnders' Gillian Taylforth, Patsy Palmer and Joe Swash
also attended the school
and Natalie got her big break at an audition here in 1993.
I started off in EastEnders when I was ten.
-Shall we have a look?
-Yeah, go on, then.
Let's talk about it afterwards. So, this is you.
-Take a swig!
-I don't want a swig!
-Are you scared or something?'
'Natalie burst onto our screen as Sonia Jackson, the third child
'of a very dysfunctional family.'
I remember that polo neck.
-Don't you ever give up?!
-Just have a bit!
-Eugh, that's awful!
-You'll get used to it.
When we started, Robbie, Sonia and the family,
-that we were rebels in the show...
..and, actually, Sonia turned into quite a...
and then, she was comedic, because she played the trumpet and played...
-She wasn't very good?
-Yeah, really badly.
And then, as you grow up, you get more miserable and downtrodden.
-But I actually started off quite light...
-..and a bit funny.
-Of course you're happy - you're drunk!
And when you went in, was it a major role?
You knew you were going to be there for some time?
Or it was just throw away?
No, I knew it was a family, so I knew I was going in for a while,
but you never know how long and, because I was ten, my family...
My mum and dad didn't watch EastEnders at the time.
-No, we watched Corrie in our house.
-So how did they feel about you being...?
I went to a local drama club, in Islington, and it was after school
and I went along and I got picked for it, so they were very much...
They were not a pushy family, very grounded.
And I got the part and they said, "All right, if you want to do it,
"you can do it," you know, and that was it, and I just started it.
So what was your dad's reaction to you...?
-Dad was, like, "Oh, blimey! Not that programme!"
-SHE LAUGHS: Yeah!
-Or words to that effect?
And my brother, because I've got older brothers, Tony sat in a...
I think he sat in McDonalds
and just stared for about an hour over a Big Mac, saying,
"I can't believe my sister's going to be in EastEnders."
EastEnders was created by producer Julia Smith and writer Tony Holland,
both of whom had earlier success on Z Cars.
The soap has never shied away from tackling important issues,
like domestic abuse and HIV.
Explosive storylines attracted record audiences.
On Christmas Day in 1986, over 30 million people
tuned in to see Den Watts serve Angie her divorce papers.
What was your first meaty sort of storyline?
-Um... I suppose really...
-Did you get anything at that age?
Not at that age. It was all bits and pieces.
But I suppose my first massive thing was giving birth, when I was 15.
It hurts so much!
-You're not dying, sweetheart.
You're having a baby.
I can't be! SHE SOBS: You're wrong!
Look, I've seen a few births in my time,
I helped my Viv deliver Lynne on the changing room floor
at the Clacton Lido and, believe me, girl,
you're giving birth and, by the looks of it,
-it ain't going to wait for no ambulance!
-But I can't!
That was a big thing to do, and obviously, not ever done that...
-I hope not!
-..you want to get it right and I remember sat with...
-being sat with June Brown...
and June Brown turning round, who plays Dot Cotton...
-Turning round and saying, you know, "How do I do that, June?"
you know and she said, "Darling," she said, "it's like pooing a melon."
That was her advice to me!
-The ambulance is on its way!
-And so is this little one!
I can't have it! I can't have it!
I'm so frightened! This can't be happening to me!
Look, there's only one woman that could say that
and she gave birth in a stable and it IS happening
-and you've got to deal with it!
-I don't know how!
Now one knows how the first time round!
But, believe you me, you'll be fine, I'm with you!
It's coming back!
-Go on! Go on, girl!
-Top of your lungs!
Good girl! Good girl!
And I'll never forget that.
'Natalie's next clip takes us to a very different place.'
'It may be hard to believe,
'but a man in a pink-and-yellow spotted costume was once
'the star attraction on prime-time Saturday night telly.'
-It's Mr Blobby!
Oh, it was great, wasn't it?
Throughout the '90s, up to 15 million people tuned in each week
for the latest goings-on in Crinkley Bottom at Noel's House Party.
Regularly knocking on Noel's door
were some notable Crinkley Bottom residents,
including Men Behaving Badly's Neil Morrissey as Sammy the Shammy,
Ronnie Corbett as the butler,
and even Albert Square's own Leslie Grantham as - who else? -
but the tough local barman.
But it was Blobby that stole the show!
-Blobby! Blobby! Blobby!
-Oh, it was so clever.
And I know he was annoying, Mr Blobby,
but at the time, when I was younger, it was just a perfect viewing
for that Saturday night. Absolutely brilliant.
MR BLOBBY GASPS AND SHOUTS
-My dad hated it!
-Oh, he hated it!
In 1993, Mr Blobby's single was Christmas Number 1,
proving you don't have to be good-looking to be a pop star.
Well, it's just nice, isn't it? You'd have your dinner and sit down...
-..and it was something you could share with all the family,
which I think this country lost for a little while
and we didn't have that, the relaxing feel-good Saturday night telly,
-which, obviously now, I think we've got back.
-I liked it when they used to come to people's houses.
-That was brilliant.
Did you ever think they were going to come to your house?
-I did used to think how cool it would be.
-And also, the Grab a Grand I used to love.
-Cos, you know, people really did want to grab that grand.
As people would today, but, you know, it was very, very good.
And also, you know, it was optimism, wasn't it?
-It was feel-good. It was great.
-You can't beat it. A bit like this, really.
So, our next little item is comedy.
-Are you a big fan of comedy, aren't you?
Given the opportunity, people go out, don't they, at the moment and say,
-"Have you watched that box set?"
-American box sets and all of that.
Me and my partner sit and watch sitcoms.
-Do you watch a lot of the American stuff?
-I was a big Friends fan when I was younger....
You know, it was like looking at
One Foot in the Grave
and, like, 'Allo 'Allo! and...
Hi-de-hi! and all those, you know.
-Yeah, really. Again, it's the nostalgia of it, isn't it?
-And I remember sitting watching it with my mum and dad.
So I like watching it now. I mean, Only Fools,
we've just done the whole box set.
-Before Christmas, every night.
-This is you and your partner?
-I love it.
-Yeah, me and Marc.
-Shall we have a little look now?
What is that funny noise?!
AIR HISSES AND SQUEAKS
NATALIE: 'This was my mum's favourite.'
-I remember watching it with her for the first own.
And she absolutely rolled around laughing.
-Aw, ain't it lovely to have those memories?
THEY GASP, AUDIENCE ROARS WITH LAUGHTER
When Only Fools and Horses launched in 1981,
it had a relatively slow start, but quickly built a huge following.
In 1996, the show was attracting
a whopping 24.3 million viewers -
that's over a third of the population.
-It's just fantastic.
That was his big break, but he'd done so much before that, David Jason.
-And, obviously, he did so much after.
But, you know, it was...
-I mean, Open All Hours was fantastic, wasn't it?
-And he was in Porridge as well.
-And then, you know,
-he did this and this just absolutely made him.
-Do you remember it finishing? Were you upset?
-I was broken-hearted.
When you saw them walk off into the sunset, I remember sobbing,
absolutely sobbing, cos, like, you know
-and love those characters, don't you?
-And it is like a soap each week.
-And then, it ends.
It's like Corrie ending, isn't it? Or EastEnders ending.
-Let's hope that don't happen for a little while.
I quite like my job.
You think it all went wrong when they actually got...?
-They made it!
-It was all to do with the clock, didn't they?
-They became millionaires.
-Time On Our Hands,
-it was called, that one.
But, you know, you wanted them to make it and they never did,
which is why it worked, because that, you know,
it was about the struggle of life and wanting it
and, once they got it, where do you go?
And it just shows you - money doesn't always make you happy, does it?
The sitcoms like Fools and Horses don't just write themselves.
There would be no Del Boy and Rodney
without writer extraordinaire John Sullivan.
He scored his first sitcom bull's-eye with Citizen Smith.
Robert Lindsay played an unemployed dreamer
who thought he was Che Guevara.
He went on to write the "will they or won't they?" classic
Just Good Friends, starring Paul Nicholas and Jan Francis.
And, in 1986, he wrote the bittersweet classic Dear John,
about a divorced teacher, played by Poldark's Ralph Bates.
After taxi-based comedy Roger Roger,
he returned to his Nags Head favourite Boycie and Marlene
for a Fools and Horses spin-off series, with The Green Green Grass.
And, finally, the Trotters of Peckham were resurrected
in 2010, when Sullivan created
an Only Fools prequel
called Rock and Chips.
-If we could sort of wave a magic wand and you be in a sitcom...
..that the legendary late, great John Sullivan wrote,
er, what would it be? How could you see yourself?
Oh, I don't know, really. This would be amazing, wouldn't it?
Or even just popping in and out of, like, Open All Hours
-or, you know....
-Any of the old classics.
-And, you know, it would just be great.
-I just don't think they make 'em now like they used to.
-Er, Natalie, I've got your next choice now.
-And I'm not going to say anything else, but it's 1993.
And also they fight amongst themselves, the cubs as well.
For 20 years,
the Really Wild Show brought TV with a bite into our homes.
Let's see some of those teeth. You can see them in there, look.
He's giving me a little nibble, still very friendly.
It just did the most enormous yawn
and you can see how big their jaws are. Oops!
-I used to absolutely love this.
Yeah, because I always felt that everyone on the show
really loved animals and they really wanted to be there.
She's absolutely gorgeous.
She's been hand reared and that's why we're able to handle her.
-What do you think?
-It's still a lion, it's not a little kitten.
In fact, they're not that soft. Their fur's quite coarse.
-Every boy fancied her and every girl wanted to be like her.
-So she did very well there. She caught both audiences.
Michaela Strachan was best known for presenting TV-am's Wide Awake Club,
but The Really Wild Show reinvented her as a wildlife presenter.
She went on to become a regular face on BBC One's Countryfile and,
in 2011, she was reunited with her Really Wild co-host Chris Packham
She's going to have one of those earrings, isn't she?
She handled it all, she did well.
-Got her hands dirty, didn't she?
-Got stuck in, yeah.
So, what did you learn?
I used to find it really interesting
and came away with facts about the animals.
I think it's very important in the world we live in today
that we know about that stuff, you know, it's important.
-Have you got animals?
-No, I haven't.
I had a cat when I was younger, my little cat,
but I haven't got animals now just cos of my work, really.
It's not fair cos I'm out all the time,
but I'd love a little dog at some point or a big dog.
-Natalie, we're moving on now to the kind of show you never miss.
-This is your wild card.
-I never miss?
-Never miss this.
Never missed it. Right, and you're not going to miss it now.
Hello, welcome to University Challenge.
Two more student teams are ready to do battle
for a place in the second round and perhaps beyond.
-I hope you don't take this the wrong way.
-Go on, you know what I'm going to say.
-I'm extremely intelligent.
-I know you are.
-No, I'm not. What it is, I love the intelligence of it.
Because I started on the telly very young, my life went that way
and that's what I chose to do.
But when I look back, I would have loved to have gone to uni
and I love learning so when I watch this,
I just love watching all those very clever people.
-Oh, they are.
-And I just love it.
It's like I love going to Oxford or I love visiting Cambridge
and seeing them ride around on bikes with their books.
I just love intelligence, I think it's just brilliant.
-You could still go back to college.
Open University, something like that.
I will do that, I definitely will at some point.
And what would you hope to study?
Probably the arts in some way or history or that sort of thing.
I hope you do.
I love all of that. But, yeah, this is something
that again reminds me of growing up, it being on,
Dad maybe getting a couple of questions right -
my dad's a clever man - but me never getting any questions right
-and also looking at people's fashion sense.
I know it's stereotypical, but if you're very, very clever,
usually, you wear some terrible jumpers. And Paxman is so rude!
-He's a legend.
So, who can get the first question right here, Natalie?
The best of luck to both teams. Here's your first starter for ten.
I used to think they were above each other.
I know, it was only my partner - Marc's a cameraman -
and he told me that, but not long ago. Really not long ago!
And he was like, "They're not on top of each other.
-"It's the shot." I was like, "You've ruined that for me."
Of which character did Chaucer write "husbands at church door,
"she had five"?
-Oh, I've got this in the bag.
-I haven't, you see.
-I want to know all of these.
-It was the Wife of Bath.
For a possible five points, what sort of wife was Lady Brute
in the title of a play by Vanburgh?
That's why I watch it cos I really want to be clever.
-I normally get, like, one in the whole of an episode.
-I do a lap of honour round the sofa.
-I'll have to hurry you.
-Lady of the manor, I don't know...
-Get a move on!
-A Wife of Christ...
No, she was provoked,
she was the Provoked Wife in the play of that name.
It's brilliant. "Come on!
-"Are you stupid?"
-Then he goes, "No!"
"No, you stupid individual!"
He's cocky cos he's got the questions in front of him.
I know, absolutely.
The last King of Lydia who reigned from 560-546 BC
is now usually remembered for his fabulous wealth. Who was he?
-We're not going to get one, are we?
-No, we're not. We're not.
Over the years,
University Challenge contestants have featured some familiar faces,
including Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes,
journalist John Simpson,
QI's Stephen Fry
and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.
Jeremy Paxman took the inquisitor's chair from Bamber Gascoigne
in the mid-'90s and has kept students on their toes ever since.
No, it's Incitatus.
I want to come up-to-date now. I mean, what do you watch these days?
Do you have much time? Because you're so busy.
Like I say, with work, it's very much, each week's different.
We can work numerous amounts... Different hours, you know.
Even in the evenings, if I'm not at work, I've got a four-year-old...
That sort of soap time especially is...
You know, bath-time, dinner time, bedtime. I love MasterChef.
I absolutely love it. That's something I'd love to do.
-What about the live...
-The live eps?
-Yeah, of EastEnders.
-They were great, they were really good fun.
Petrifying or not?
It was scary but we were well rehearsed and my problem is,
when I get nervous, I do this.
I lose all the saliva in my mouth.
I said to the director of EastEnders, what if, on the night,
I've got my lines to do and I'm going...
"Well, I don't know, I've just got to go over to The Vic"?
What would happen then?
They said, "Don't worry, we'll just deal with it at the time."
I want to talk about Strictly and that experience.
Was it a huge decision to be made when they said...?
No, no, straight away I thought, "Absolutely,"
and then I realised what I'd got myself into. It was very nerve...
You'd work really hard all week and it is, your whole life goes into it.
The more hours you do, the more you know the steps
and the more you're going to get on and not look like a complete pillock.
MUSIC: Bang Bang by Joe Cuba
So I really worked hard
and did 10, 12 hours a day and then you'd get behind there on
a Saturday night with lovely Brucey and Tess
and your mind would go blank.
A lot of people take it for granted but it is live
and there's something about knowing that you're going out to
-8 million, 9 million, 10 million people live...
-With the chance of looking terrible...
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
..and forgetting it all.
But that's Saturday night entertainment and I love it,
I love watching it now. Dancing's great, music's great, it's lovely.
I think that's what we've touched on with all of your stuff,
-like Noel's House Party, Fools And Horses...
-I know, it's all very...
-It is all escapism and it's all...
-..light and fluffy.
It's what I like. I like comedy and...
I think we've got enough in the real world to worry about.
-There's enough doom and gloom out there.
And, like you say, my work, I'm always miserable as sin.
Sonia's always crying or doing something which is frowned upon
on the Square which makes her miserable.
But that's Natalie, what's Sonia like in EastEnders?
I mean, let's be honest, from the age of ten till now...
-22 years with a gap, it's an honour.
-And long may it run.
I think you should come work with me. Come and do EastEnders.
Just come in, "All right, sweetheart?" But who would I be?
I don't know. Sonia... We haven't found Sonia's dad yet.
-Terry Kant, his name is.
-Yeah, you could come in as Terry.
"All right? Name's Terry.
-"All right, sweetheart?"
-I think that'd be great.
-I think you'd be really good.
-"All right, darling, I'll sort it out."
-It would, wouldn't it?
-You'd be great.
I want to thank you so much because I think we've had a good day...
It's been a really lovely time, I've really enjoyed myself,
thank you for having me, really good.
At this point, you get to choose a theme tune to go out on.
What's it going to be, something cutting edge?
We've just had University Challenge, it must be Panorama...
It could be Panorama, it could be Newsnight
-but I'm afraid I'm going to go for "'Allo 'Allo!".
-Well, why not?
Because it's soft, again, it's funny, it's soft, it's cheeky and it
just reminds me of my childhood, so that's what I'd like, please.
My thanks to Natalie Cassidy and we're going out with "'Allo 'Allo!".
"'ALLO 'ALLO!" THEME PLAYS
EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy joins comedy legend Brian Conley to take us through the television moments that helped shape her into one of our best-loved soap actors. Settling in for some nostalgic TV viewing in Brian's vintage inspired sitting room, Natalie reveals the importance of telly watching to her and her family as she grew up in London in the 80s.
From the genius of the Trotter brothers in Only Fools and Horses to the anarchy of Mr Blobby in Crinkly Bottom, the Cassidy household has always loved a laugh. But it wasn't all fun and games - Natalie's favourite show in the world was and still is none other than University Challenge.
While Natalie relives her TV favourites, we gain a revealing insight into her childhood and home, sharing everything from her memories of watching telly with her sadly departed mum to the snacks she used to enjoy and the TV-inspired games she would play as a little girl. This warm-hearted look back through Natalie's childhood years offers a rare glimpse into the influence her telly choices had on her as she grew up.