Actors Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston are marking an impressive four decades on the screen together through a brand-new More4 series, where they will explore significant locations from their lives and the special destinations they’ve always dreamt of experiencing as a pair.
The three-part show, titled “Ricky, Sue & a Trip or Two,” has been commissioned by More4 in collaboration with Nine Lives Media in Birmingham and LA Productions in Liverpool. This initiative stems from the More4 West Midlands development fund, a result of the partnership between Channel 4 and Create Central.
In this series, the two friends will not only share their cherished memories associated with various places across Britain but also visit the locations they’ve long wished to explore together. Among the featured sites will be Shrewsbury Prison, where Ricky faced unjust charges in the 1970s and Sue coincidentally took to the streets to campaign against this injustice. The series will also uncover the story of how they both found themselves on Brookside Close, the iconic setting of their initial collaboration in the renowned Channel 4 soap opera.
Having portrayed Bobby and Sheila Grant in Brookside and later becoming the equally iconic Jim and Barbara Royle in The Royle Family, Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston have recently been seen sharing a couch on Celebrity Gogglebox. Being not only a beloved on-screen duo but also individual stars of both stage and screen, these two stalwart actors will take the audience on a journey to discover the meaningful locations around the country that have left a mark on their lives. Throughout their travels, Ricky and Sue will also be joined by well-known friends who share connections with the places and people they encounter along the way.
Ricky Tomlinson comments: “Sue and I have had a lot of laughs and a lot of memories over the years. This new series will give us a chance to put the world to rights as we explore places treasured to us and to many others around Britain.”
Sue Johnston: “Ricky and I feel so honoured to have shared 40 years on screen together and a firm friendship for all of that time, so it’s particularly special to be taking a trip of a lifetime with him around this beautiful country for More 4. Channel 4 will have a job to do keeping us both on our best behaviour along with the friends we meet along the way.”
Ricky, Sue & a Trip or Two is a 3 x 60’ series co-produced by Nine Lives Media, with executive producers Jazz Gowans and Cat Lewis, and LA Productions, with executive producer Colin McKeown – co-creator of Brookside. The More4 series has been commissioned by Channel 4’s Jayne Stanger, Commissioning Editor, Daytime & Features, and Jo Street, Head of Daytime & Features.
Channel 4’s Jo Street, Head of Daytime & Features, comments: “We love having some of the nation’s most cherished personalities on More4 and who is more cherished than The Royle Family themselves? It’s a delight to have Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston back in the Channel 4 family. It’s made all the better by working with Nine Lives and LA Productions and talented creatives from both the West Midlands and the North West, to produce a unique travelogue around Great Britain.”
Nine Lives & LA Productions add: “We’re thrilled to be working with two incredibly talented national treasures, Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston, who began their on-screen marriage over 40-years ago on one of Channel 4’s first-ever series, Brookside. We’re also delighted to be making the series out of Birmingham.”
The series is commissioned as a result of Channel 4 and Create Central’s linear unscripted development initiative More4 the West Midlands, a partnership launched in April 2022 to forge stronger relationships between West Midlands’ indies and Channel 4 Commissioning to create more opportunities for creative talent in the region.
Ed Shedd, Chair of Create Central, comments: “We are thrilled to be part of this collaboration between Create Central and Channel 4 for this development initiative. It exemplifies the power of close cooperation in fostering the growth and emergence of local talent and companies. Congratulations to Nine Lives on their achievement, and I eagerly anticipate watching the show.”