Jo Joyner who plays Lu Shakespeare on the show. Picture: BBC Studios
Jo Joyner who plays Lu Shakespeare on the show. Picture: BBC Studios

Jo Joyner is back in BBC's 'Shakespeare and Hathaway' season 3

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Apr 25, 2020

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"Shakespeare & Hathaway" has returned to BBC First for its third installment, bringing with it more comical mysteries, disagreements, action and fun-filled drama.

Well received over the first and second season, the show has ten episodes this season featuring guest stars like Jim Moir, Sally Lindsay and Tamzin Outhwaite and airs on BBC First on Fridays at 8pm.

Filmed in Stratford, this season will feature more dodgy dealings, as Frank and Lu find themselves hunting down clues, solving crimes and fending off ruthless killers.

Jo Joyner, who plays Luella Shakespeare and who is also well known for her role as Tanya Lauren Cross on EastEnders chatted to us about the new season.

Why do you think the show is so popular?

People all over the world know Stratford because of Shakespeare. That's why it sells so well abroad. It's quintessentially English. Stratford is so pretty with the swans and the river. Whether you're in South Africa or China, you'll get a cultural feel for Britain from watching this show. It has lots of countryside, buildings and history that you don’t see abroad. We forget that we have all this history on our doorstep.

How has Lu developed over the seasons?

She settled in a lot. She and Frank are less annoyed with each other now. They have got mutual respect for each other. That's grown over the years. They are now working together more and are less on their own missions. There is a quiet fondness between them now. They balance each other out. There are a very good team.

Do you enjoy working with the guest stars?

Yes. Every year I come away very proud of the diversity of the cast. We get a great caliber of guest stars. I look at some of the older ones and think, "I want to be playing that part when I'm older."

Who are some of the guests this season?

We've had Sally Lindsay, Tamzin Outhwaite and Ella Kenion, who I did a lot of comedy with. Sally plays an earthy, hippyish hairdresser who only uses natural products, and Tamzin plays an overprotective, pushy mother. They love the show, and they are very happy to come on it. They always have fun on set. That's been particularly lovely for me.

What is the enduring appeal of whodunits?

We all love a whodunnit because it makes it use our brains. Nowadays it is very rare that we watch TV without our phones in our hands. I was watching a documentary the other day, and it had a lot of captions. So if you weren't watching the screen, you were missing out. I thought, "I'm going to have to put my phone down and watch it." Shakespeare and Hathaway is the same. You have to put down your phone and concentrate on the whodunnit. That makes it far more rewarding.

Could you still be making "Shakespeare and Hathaway" in 20 years time?

Wouldn't that be nice? But by then, they'd be wheeling us around or we would be doing it on our mobility scooters!

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