You & Me creator Jamie Davis on reuniting with ‘mentor’ Russell T Davies on ITVX drama years after role in Doctor Who spin-off


You & Me tells a powerful story set across different timelines in London (Picture: ITV)

You & Me creator Jamie Davis has opened up about what it was like to work with Russell T Davies again, who was an executive producer on the drama, years after he starred in a Doctor Who spin-off.

Before creating his new ITVX programme, Jamie previously worked as an actor, with his credits including roles in Casualty, Shameless, Hex and Footballers’ Wives.

In his screenwriting debut, he’s penned a story that’s heartening and gut-wrenching in equal measure called You & Me, telling the interwoven tales of Ben (Harry Lawtey), Jess (Sophia Brown) and Emma (Jessica Barden) across different timelines in London. recently spoke to Jamie, Harry, Sophia and Jessica about the project, how the lead actors approached their characters and what it was like to have It’s A Sin creator Russell on board as a producer.

The screenwriter admitted that it was both ‘brilliant and terrifying’ for Russell to join the production, having reached out to him on a whim when he’d written the show and thought to himself: ‘If I could send it to anybody, who would I send it to?’

‘I thought Russell because he’s the best, but I worked with Russell maybe nine years earlier, so we had no real relationship,’ he outlined.

Russell T Daveis

Russell recently created the ITV drama Nolly with Helena Bonham Carter (Picture: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
Jamie’s instinct to email Russell paid off big time (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Jamie previously starred in the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, playing a character called Davey in an episode called Invasion of the Bane, which aired on New Year’s Day in 2007.

In the email that he sent, he acknowledged how ‘unlikely’ it was that Russell would have time to read it, but decided he’d rather hedge his bets on ‘unlikely’ rather than ‘impossible’.

‘So I sent it and then like two weeks later I remember I was on the train, I had the kids on my lap. It was the end of the day on a Friday, I thought I’d check my emails and then I’m done,’ he recalled.

‘I got this email from Russell that I’ll never forget. It’s still saved on my phone. He said we should meet. So we met for lunch and he said we should make it into a TV show. We talked all about what I wanted to do as a writer, what I wanted to do next.’

Emma meets Ben, before her own painful past is revealed (Picture: ITV Studios)

Russell passed the script onto Dominic Treadwell-Collins at Happy Prince, the drama label under ITV Studios, who also really liked the story, and so they got to work, writing the programme over a summer.

Not only was it special having the returning Doctor Who showrunner as an executive producer, but Jamie can now count on him as a ‘mentor’, he shared.

‘I know that in everything I write, whether this or the other things that I’m writing, he’s going to read it. He’s always on your shoulder when you’re writing and you’re hearing that voice [saying], “That’s not funny. That’s not good enough.”

‘It makes you better. because you know you’re going to send it to the person who you think is the best, who makes you work harder. The greatest gift he’s given me is that he makes me be better either by what he taught me or by making me work harder. The whole thing has been a dream come true.’

In You & Me, Jess becomes pregnant after she and Ben fall in love, so when Sophia took on the role, she spoke to a friend – also called Jess – who experienced a similar birth story to her character months before she started shooting.

‘I was kind of telling a little bit of her story. Some of the scenes I really was doing it for her and trying to tell her story. I found it really beautiful,’ the star of The Witcher: Blood Origin recollected.

‘The conversation between me and her really opened up and she was able to confide in me about some things she went through. So it was a real bonding experience personally for me, my friendships and it was joyful.’

Sophia also loved filming in London in the middle of the summer, which meant that she was able to easily go home at the end of the day, which she found ‘beautiful’.

‘Even though a lot of the themes that we explore are quite intense, for my character Jess, there was a lot of joy. I was falling in love with Ben and so I had a lot of fun doing that,’ she added.

Sophia Brown and Harry Lawtey in You & Me

Sophia spoke to a friend, also called Jess, about her birth experience (Picture: ITV)

Harry agreed that the experience was ‘completely joyful’, commending the amount of ‘levity, care and generosity’ that there was among the people who worked on the production.

‘[There was a] complete culture of kindness and support, which made it as easy as it possibly could be,’ he stated.

‘But at the same time it’s a responsibility as well, because there’s big themes in this that hold a really serious place in a lot of people’s lives.

‘If it’s not an experience that you’ve had yourself, then you feel a responsibility and a duty to do that properly and portray it with some kind of authenticity and make it feel real for people.’

The Industry actor acknowledged that while he and his co-stars were ‘pretending’ in the story, he didn’t want to ‘feel like a fraud’ when depicting scenes of a serious nature.

The cast loved filming in the height of summer in London (Picture: ITV)

‘That took – I think for all of us in our own way – some conversations with people and really making sure that we had a genuine understanding of the story we’re trying to tell,’ he said.

The End of the F***ing World star Jessica explained how much she enjoyed playing a ‘normal person’ by depicting Emma, in comparison to previous roles.

‘Obviously she was going through very deep things, they were things that 100% happen to all of us in our lives. I just really liked playing somebody that wasn’t really that far off my own age, in life, in an everyday world, going to a job and has friends and family,’ she outlined.

‘Even though the timeline is slightly disjointed for everybody, that’s one of the key things about the show. The information is revealed to you at different times.’

The Hanna star continued, saying how she was ‘blown away by playing a regular person who had a flat’.

‘I loved it. There’s not a lot of things made like that right now. It was amazing to play somebody where all of your decisions and your instincts are just supposed to be grounded. I loved it,’ she said.

You & Me is available to watch on ITVX.

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MORE : When is You & Me on ITVX and who is in the cast?

MORE : Russell T Davies blasts ‘idiot’ Baftas for merely ‘considering’ Bernard Cribbins to appear in TV ceremony’s ‘in memoriam’ segment

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