Denise Coffey Interview

In August 2008 I wrote to Denise Coffey who wrote the first series of C.A.B. Denise kindly replied to my letter answering a few questions I had included about the programme.

Below are scans of the postcard and letter Denise sent alongside the replies to the interview questions, click on the images for the full sized scan.

The Postcard
The Postcard
The Letter
The Letter

My sincerest thanks goes to Denise Coffey for taking the time to answer my questions of the show. I'm grateful to Denise for offering her thoughts of the show and how C.A.B came about.

The interview is below, in her own words.

How did the first series of C.A.B come about? Were you commissioned to write it or was it your idea that you pitched to Thames Television?
I can't answer these questions because C.A.B. was already planned, cast, and, I think, has already two episodes (or one) already written. For a reason I don't know, there was a need to find an emergency writer to complete the series. I was asked and agreed.

How long did it take writing the series and how did you plan the general storyline before writing individual episodes?
The storyline was already planned, and I set to and wrote very fast, hoping to do it justice and give the actors good dialogue and maybe add a little of my own (inspired by the existing storyline and characters). I had to write to write one episode every four days.

Did you have any decisions in the casting of the lead roles?
The actors were already cast (as I remember) and I visited them on one location filming (all the locations planned in advance) and they were terrific it was a pleasure to meet them, and once I had, I hope I was able to write for their personalities.

How do you feel the programme turned out were you pleased with the final result?
I never saw the final result I was in the USA and Canada, leaving the day after I finished the last script and not returning for eight months. But it must have been enjoyable if you and your fellow C.A.B ers are remembering it after 22 years! Thank you for contacting me.

As I have no episodes from the end of series one can you tell us what happened at the end of this series?
Im sorry cant remember.

Did you watch any of the episodes when they aired on TV?
No I was either working in the theatre (wrong time of day for TV watching) or in the USA or Canada.

Did you expect or want there to be further series after the first series? Why were you not involved in the following two series of C.A.B?
See above answers out of the country, and I was only an emergency writer anyway; didnt expect to be more than that.

You are most well known as an actress, how did you get into writing? Do you prefer writing to acting or vice versa?
Writing a novel well, constructing the plot right now. Ive always been a writer, but I think youll agree its good to have various different things to be interested in and work at (oops! Grammar). You know what I mean! For the last thirty years before I retired, I directed productions in theatre in the USA, Canada and London (Young Vic). Im now a painter (oil, narrative and still life).

Denise Coffey