Tamsin Greig (Alice Chenery) | TV ONE SHOWS A-Z | TV ONE | tvnz.co.nz [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Tamsin Greig (Alice Chenery)
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David Renwick wrote the part of Alice especially for Tamsin.

"She is oddly, ineffably, reliably funny to the core, an actress with the skill to ground her humour in reality, and with a delicious line in reactive understatement that makes her a joy to write for," he says.

As Alice, Tamsin plays a modern girl with old-fashioned values who finds herself, rather reluctantly, on a series of dates which range from the slightly strange to the downright weird. The perfect man for her is out there but it is far from certain that they will ever meet.

In real life, Tamsin, best known for her roles in Green Wing, Black Books and The Archers, is happily settled with her husband of eight years, fellow actor Richard Leaf and their three children and more than happy to have left her dating days behind her.

"I think the dating game is a very tricky game to play. It's incredibly exciting, but like walking on a rope bridge over molten lava it's like an extreme sport and I'm delighted not to have to do it ever again," she laughs. "And I used to be a parachutist so I was into excitement.

"For me, the greatest thing about the dating game was giving it up. I thought this is insane, I don't know what I'm doing and I've got to get out of it. I made a conscious decision not to date anybody and then, a month later, I met my husband. So I can understand where Alice is coming from.

"She's not actively looking for love, but she gets herself into these situations either by accident or by someone else's design. She's amazed that the conversation of the girls on perfume counter is about men all the time, she just doesn't get it. But although she doesn't have a desperate desire to be dating, she's driven by this urge to find somebody, even though she won't acknowledge that that's what's going on. It's like a secret longing that's within."

But even while Alice is struggling with her unsuitable suitors, the audience is aware that she has a soulmate in the form of TV scriptwriter Gil. They may not have met yet, but at least he's out there somewhere and maybe one day their paths will interconnect.

Tamsin and Michael rarely met while filming, so she says it's lovely to see how the two stories interlink and how they mirror each other.

Tamsin herself believes that everyone has a soulmate. "I do think there's someone out there who is perfect for you but you have to have your eyes open and your heart ready to recognise it when it comes and you can't be obsessive about looking for it," she says. "It's a bit like catching a bus you can't make one come along but you can be ready to jump on it when it does it. Unfortunately, Alice doesnt have her eyes open in fact she's wearing blinkers and
ear muffs and a very large overcoat!"

Tamsin has a varied career. Her roles as Dr Caroline Todd in Green Wing and Fran in Black Books brought her to the attention of lovers of offbeat humour but she has also spent 14 years as the voice of Debbie Aldridge in The Archers.

She loves radio drama but says she tends to do comedy stuff for TV because she has "a hilarious face".

"I once read an article in National Geographic which described the puffin as a bird of comedic solemnity and I really liked it and related to it so that is what my work has become because comedy can be very solemn and I think you get a feeling of that in Love Soup, there's a comedic solemnity about both Alice and Gil which I really like."

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