skins 7

‘Skins’ co-creator Jamie Brittain interview

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The last ever series has featured former stars Hannah Murray, Jack O’Connell and Kaya Scodelario returning for three individual stories.

Airing at 10pm tomorrow night, Part 1 of Skins Rise (written by Jamie Brittain) sees Cook in a job delivering drugs to Manchester Revellers. When he is asked to help his employer’s girlfriend find a house and finds that he is irresistibly attracted to her, he sets off a train of events which will lead him into a world of savage revenge and a confrontation with his own violent past.

> Order Series 7 on DVD on Amazon.

> Buy the complete Series 1-6 boxset on Amazon.

How has the reaction been to Series 7 so far?

“There was a little bit of disquiet on Twitter, with the whole Naomi thing, but generally on Facebook and in the reviews we’ve got, it’s been pretty positive.”

Did you always plan to end Skins with this “where are they now” concept?

“Me and Bryan Elsely decided we didn’t want to do another generation, we were much too exhausted for that! He asked me to come up with a new concept, which would retain the characters but without the baggage that comes with doing a new generation.

“So I came up with the idea of doing two part episodes for each character. It was a relatively recent invention, it wasn’t decided from the beginning.”

Were there any other characters you considered revisiting before deciding on Effy, Cook and Cassie?

“We did wonder about doing a third generation character, I suppose it would’ve been Mini or Franky, but we decided that we’d just finished with generation three, and we didn’t want to redo them so soon.”

Did you have any storylines in mind for old characters you didn’t choose? I was hoping Mitch Hewer would’ve returned as Maxxie…

“It would’ve been excellent to bring back Mitch, and in fact I would’ve liked to do everyone! But there was only so much space, so we had to choose the characters that we thought would draw an audience, as well as the ones we could tell the best stories for.”

Is this definitely the final series? Do you think you’d ever return to the characters again a further few years down the line?

“I’d say ‘never say never’, but at the moment it does feel like this probably is it.”

What was the motivation behind attempting the now-cancelled US adaptation of Skins?

“I think the US market seemed so hungry for it at the time. It was a bit of a shitstorm in the end, but it seemed like they wanted it so badly that the decision was made for one of us to go over and do it for them. It didn’t work out too well!”

Back to the UK Skins, there were rumours after Series 6 ended that there would be a Skins movie. Is there still a possibility of a feature film being made?

“We came close to doing a Skins movie a couple of years ago, but the TV show took priority. I think these final episodes equate to that movie, except instead of one we’ve done three, so hopefully that’s quite good value for money!”

Looking back over all the series, are there any characters or episodes that you think back on particularly fondly?

“The one I wrote for Series 2, where Tony goes to university and it’s a kind of weird Lynch-ian nightmare. I don’t know if it’s any good or not, but I certainly enjoyed writing it! Harry Enfield directed it and it was great fun to be on set.

“Also, the episode where Sid’s dad dies in Series 2 is pretty special as well. Peter Capaldi was my first choice to play Sid’s dad, I’m a massive Thick Of It fan.”

Were there any characters that you felt could’ve been written in more depth?

“I think Dev’s character Anwar. He never got his own episode or a proper story. Obviously he’s a big superstar now and it’s easy to see how talented he is, but at the time I think we didn’t quite realise what we had on our hands. I wish we’d done more with him.”

Is there any one moment in the show’s history that you feel quintessentially defines what Skins stands for?

“The scene where Naomi and Emily are holding hands through a cat flap, written by Jack Thorne. That was a moment that touched a lot of people and sums up what Skins is all about – simplicity and emotional directness.”

You’re part of the writing team for Channel 4’s new drama series Dates. Have you been pleased with the reception the show has received?

“It’s been really good as far as I can tell! I think it’s gone down as well as we could’ve hoped for.”

Are there any guest stars you’d love to appear on the show?

“I tell you who I’d really like, Jason Statham. Wouldn’t that be great? The Stath!”

Is there any news about a second series?

“Not as of yet, but fingers crossed!”

> Order Series 7 on DVD on Amazon.

> Buy the complete Series 1-6 boxset on Amazon.

Watch the Series 7 trailer…

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