Phoenix Night stars reunited in hilarious lockdown series

Funnyman Dave Spikey has teamed up with fellow comic Janice Connolly to entertain fans with a new online series based on life in the lockdown.

By Mike Hill
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 9:46 am

The duo play brother and sister Rex and Sandra who are keeping in touch via video technology in a scenario which will be familiar to millions of people up and down the land.

The result is a heart warming series of short Zoom-style videos which are both funny and touching as the pair dance, play board games together and catch up on the latest gossip.

The first two short videos are already on YouTube and there are plans for more episodes as we learn more about the lives of the sibling stars.

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Dave Spikey and Janice Connolly as Rex and Sandra

Dave, of Chorley, said: "It was the idea of Matt Price who I have written with before. He thought lots of people are Zooming, Skyping for the first time in the current situation and we should eavesdrop on the sessions of Rex and Sandra, an older brother and sister.

"The idea is that we get to know them through their conversations, learn about their back story which unfolds across the various episodes.

"In the next episode we find out that Sandra has been visiting internet dating websites which appalls Rex but as she says, 'It's only a bit of harmless swiping Rex. Nowt wrong with a bit of swiping Rex. You should try it'."

It is not the first time the two have teamed up on screen with Janice finding fame as Holy Mary on Phoenix Nights while Spikey was club compere Jerry St Clair in the smash hit comedy.

Dave Spikey catching up with his lockdown chores

And they starred alongside each other in Spikey's critically acclaimed ITV series Dead Man Weds set in a Lancashire newspaper office.

Dave said: "I've known Janice since Phoenix and am a big fan of her work. She's a great comedy actor and comedian as her alter ego Barbara Nice - 'Barbara as in Streisand and Nice as in the biscuit'.

"In fact I appeared as Barbara Nice at one of her shows at The Lowry - the idea being that she's been delayed so I went on dressed as her and did 10 minutes then she arrives in a panic through the auditorium. As I say, we cast her as Carol in Dead Man Weds and found that we really work very well together."

Dave had been due to go on tour this year and the dates have been rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic but he is still writing and has been using Zoom to keep in touch with friends during the lockdown.

He said: "I've been finishing off two scripts, one about a Sunday league football team based on a project I started with Shane Meadows many years ago and I'm writing a pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk which is something I've always wanted to do.

"I Zoom every 'Thirsty Thursday' with friends in the village and we have the occasional quiz, a beer and wine tasting and last week a lip sync contest in which my wife and I came a close second with Esther and Abi Ofarim's 80s classic Cinderella Rockefeller."

And he has not escaped from having to catch up with chores around his home near Whittle-le-Woods while lockdown is underway.

He joked: "I went to Lidl for some essentials and came out with a jet washer , some welding goggles and a self assembly jet engine for £28. So I've been jet washing everything outside. Note to self, next time start on the upper level first , save you doing the bottom level twice."

The first episodes of Rex and Sandra can be found at: Board Game Tuesdays and Come Dancing (observing social distancing, of course)