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Get to know the funniest family on TV … YOU catch up with These Country Stars before the start of the third series


Styling: Sasha Barrie at A&R Creative, supported by Meg Edmond. Make-up: Samantha Cooper at Carol Hayes with Image Skincare & Glossier. Hair: Julie Read at Carol Hayes with Philip Kingsley. Art direction and production: Ester Malloy

Her hilarious television series on life in the small town of the Cotswolds has been hailed as the hottest comedy ever since Fleabag. This countryDaisy May and Charlie Cooper reveal how they brought their sleepy backwater to the baftas and now to Hollywood

You could call it that Fleabag. The moment that happens every few years when a British TV show comes with no fanfare or expensive commercial and is the only thing anyone talks about. Daisy May Cooper (33) and her brother Charlie (30) are the creators and stars of This country, the latest TV phenomenon, with the third and final series, which is about to launch on BBC Three.

The show revolves around the unfortunate cousins ​​Kerry and Kurtan Mucklowe (Daisy May and Charlie) and is a mockumentary about the details of rural life. At the same time, it's the funniest and most touching comedy ever since. Fleabag.

This country is based mainly on the siblings' experience of growing up in Cirencester (or "Ciren" as they call it) in the Cotswolds, a million miles from the Barbour and Bollinger scene. The Coopers & # 39; Cotswolds is more like a bottle of WKD at the bus stop than a cup of tea in David Cameron's shepherd's hut – and the isolation, boredom, and triviality of small town life make it a must.

The characters that are played in part by friends and family (her father Paul plays Kerry's errant father while her uncle Trevor plays the village kudgeon Len) are caricatures of real locals that Daisy May and Charlie met. "Our favorite comedies were always the ones that were real," says Charlie when I meet her at the YOU photo shoot. & # 39; We loved The Royle family, The office, the ones where the characters were people you thought you knew. We always wanted to do something with heart and weight. "

Daisy May stole the show from the baftas last year in her trash bag dress made by her mother

With Charlie as Kerry and Kurtan in this country

Left: Daisy May stole the show from the Baftas last year in the garbage bag dress made by her mother. Right: With Charlie as Kerry and Kurtan This country

The show has won not only a large public following, but also a lot of prominent fans, including actress Miriam Margolyes and, much to Daisy May and Charlie's delight, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, who lives in the Cotswolds This countryFirst episode). "He tweeted me after seeing it and we met," says Charlie. "He's a funny guy. He plays this extravagant cavalier character from King Charles, but he's brilliant." He even attended Daisy May's wedding last September. "We put him next to Paul Chahidi, who plays the pastor on the show and they understood each other like a burning house, "she says. What did the LLB buy for her as a wedding present?" He gave me money for my honeymoon – we asked for it because we are close idiots, "she laughs.

Daisy May and Charlie had the concept for This country Early 20s, when they lived in London together. Charlie had left Exeter University to study sports science ("I hated it – I still don't really know what it is," he says) and stayed with his sister for a weekend who was training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). A year later, he was still sleeping on her floor. It was a bleak time for both of them. They had £ 20 a week to live (of which Daisy May used to spend on alcohol and cigarettes) and she hated acting school. "I found it difficult," she says. "I was always told that my instincts were wrong, so I was totally confused. Charlie's arrival was incredible because I was so homesick. It was like a strange parent-child relationship. I would come in and he would have made cheese on toast on a camping stove in an apron. "

"It was the year we approached and talked about things we found funny," agrees Charlie. "And that was the origin of This country. "

It took them six years to do the show: writing and rewriting, meeting with agents and putting up their idea. "There was always this hope:" We could just get it away, "and then it would fail," says Daisy May. "Our agent at the time said:" Don't get it to the BBC because they don't order it. "Had we been listening, it would have been disastrous for our career. I think it is so important that people know that you have to go on with whatever you are told." Has there ever been a Plan B? "I think if you have a Plan B, it's too easy to fall back on," says Charlie.

"It has to be all or nothing."

Entertainment is in the Cooper's genes – their father even got up when he was younger and won a competition judged by Paul Merton and Julian Clary. "He's going on," says Charlie.

"All the time," agrees Daisy May. "He was supposed to reach the final of another competition and his work wouldn't give him any free time – that would be his big break." He ended up working in sales because he thought it was safe and was then fired from the job. That is why we have always thought of doing at least something that you enjoy and not the safe thing. "

Daisy May is wearing a dress, Gozzip, navabi.co.uk. Charlie is wearing a suit, Reiss. Jumper, Uniqlo

Daisy May is wearing a dress, Gozzip, navabi.co.uk. Charlie is wearing a suit, Reiss. Jumper, Uniqlo

Fortunately, they are very good at what they enjoy. This country in 2018 she won two baftas, one for scripted comedy and one for best female performance in a comedy program for Daisy May. "When we had nothing, we felt better about going to the baftas one day," says Charlie. "However, we did not expect to win."

Daisy May memorably accepted her award in a tailored Swindon Town FC dress that reflected Kerry's soccer jersey on the show. "Didn't you make a list of your goals with Dad when you were 21, and one of them was to win a bafta in a stupid dress?" Laughs Charlie.

"When I saw the dress, I had a panic attack. I thought, "Have I made the worst decision of my life?" Says Daisy May. & # 39; But then I thought, "Why not?" & # 39; For last year's ceremony, her mother Jill made her a garbage bag dress instead of buying a designer dress, and she donated the money she would have spent to a local grocery store instead.

"I thought I would feel more comfortable in a garbage bag than in a nice dress," she says. "I remember going to the Mondrian Hotel in London that evening and Steve Coogan looked at me and said," Christ. “That is all he said! It is annoying. "Your Baftas experience sounds strange, from cornering with Tony von Hollyoaks (" the second we turned he ran ") to Serenade by Declan Donnelly with a PJ & Duncan song.

We'll meet a few days after Golden Globes, Where Fleabag ruled brilliantly. "People say:" You have to be so jealous, "says Daisy May of the Fleabag Phenomenon. "Yes, absolutely, I'm jealous, but I'm also so proud and in awe of what Phoebe Waller-Bridge has achieved."

"And it opens the door to other people, people like us," says Charlie. "It's a really exciting time."

It is really an exciting time. Last December it was announced that Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaidswould make a US version of This country. "The most surreal thing ever," says Daisy May. Paul Feig comes to Cirencester with Jenny Bicks, who wrote Sex and the City and The largest showman. We go to our local pub and have dinner. We saw script outlines and their vision for the show is similar. "Daisy May and Charlie are not writing or playing in this version, but will be executive producers." That means you get the dosh, but no stress, "laughs Daisy May." They respected the fact that the show was our baby and they didn't want us to feel we weren't up to date. "But we were happy that it was in good hands. "

Charlie is wearing a sweater, Peregrine. Pants, E Tautz. Socks, Uniqlo. Shoes, Grenson. Daisy May is wearing a Mat dress at navabi.co.uk. Socks, Uniqlo. Shoes, Grenson. Earrings, Alexandrine in Fenwick

Charlie is wearing a sweater, Peregrine. Pants, E Tautz. Socks, Uniqlo. Shoes, Grenson. Daisy May is wearing a Mat dress at navabi.co.uk. Socks, Uniqlo. Shoes, Grenson. Earrings, Alexandrine in Fenwick

Even if it doesn't work, there is no chance of unemployment. Charlie appears in Michael Winterbottoms greed with Steve Coogan while Daisy May is with Armando Iannucci Avenue 5 with Hugh Laurie and The personal story of David Copperfield alongside Tilda Swinton, Dev Patel and – again – Hugh Laurie. "It's funny because we don't feel part of this circle," says Charlie. "We're still doing the same things we did ten years ago." Tilda, says Daisy May, has become a partner. "I found David Copperfield's first day really scary," she says. "I had no experience with great actors, but Tilda is incredible. She told me that one of her favorite things is polishing cutlery. She'll do that for hours. I like folding towels. "

Daisy May folds the towels aside and is enthusiastic about the paranormal. She regularly publishes her ghost hunting updates to her thousands of followers. When we meet, she is tired after getting up half the night and afraid to see a documentary about "the goat man," an ax-swinging half-man, half-creature. This is normal for Daisy May – she believes in ghosts and had read that the phone picks up the answer in a way that you normally can't hear when you ask yourself a question on your phone. I have to look skeptical because she pushes her cell phone to my ear and presses play. I hear her ask a ghost to get known, then there is a tiny, ethereal voice that answers "Don't be afraid". It's really the strangest thing I've ever heard. It hasn't happened to me that I've interviewed celebrities in 20 years, but then I've never met someone like Daisy May and Charlie Cooper – successfully yet brilliantly normal.

Daisy May ¿in her soccer jersey dress ¿and Charlie with her baftas, 2018

Quick fire questions with Daisy May and Charlie Cooper

Daisy May – in her soccer jersey dress – and Charlie with her baftas, 2018 Right: Quick fire questions with Daisy May and Charlie Cooper

While they no longer share a student room, the two still live close together. Charlie, who moved out of his parents' house in Cirencester just last year, now lives around the corner, while Daisy May, her husband Will (a landscape gardener) and their daughter Pip, two, live in a nearby village. "Our parents are our biggest fans," says Charlie. "Without them that would never have been possible – they let us live at home rent-free for years."

I am jealous of flea sack, but also in awe of what he has achieved

"Although they really had problems," says Daisy May.

"It meant we could be creative and make our dreams come true," added Charlie.

"We see mom every day," says Daisy May.

"She's still washing," says Charlie.

What's next? "Job center," Charlie replies.

"We could write something about the goat man?" Daisy May suggests, and I suspect she's only half joking. First, however, they have the third series of This country get out. It is particularly moving, the first without her boyfriend Michael Sleggs, who played slugs on the show and was a constant source of loving teasing, both in real life and on TV. He died at the age of 33 last year when he was palliatively treated for heart failure. "He was always in such a good mood and dignity," says Charlie. The hardest part of season three writing must have been figuring out how to include it in the plot. "It was obviously very difficult because Michael was a close friend of ours and was sick until we started filming," says Daisy May. "We thought he could do better, so it was really difficult because it was at the last minute written. It was important because it was so funny to make it funny and touching. “She takes a moment to calm down when the tears start to fall.

"He always wanted to be involved, whether he was sick or not," added Charlie.

Michael had some recent requests that Daisy May describes as "mental". He not only asked the pastor of the show, Paul Chahidi, to perform the ceremony at his actual funeral, but also wanted his body to be seen in his coffin in the first episode of the new series (although none of these things actually happened). "We said:" How much morphine did he have? "Daisy May says." It was a difficult episode to write because Kerry and Kurtan see slugs so differently than Daisy and Charlie. We tried to send it as good as possible, but I found it difficult. I miss him so much . & # 39;

It's her real approach to how humor meets human emotion that makes this country an absolute genius. Although a friend's death is new territory for him, I have a feeling that it will be perfect no matter how you honor Michael. Because that's the thing with This country – it is almost always.

The third series of This Country will be released weekly on Monday on BBC iPlayer February 17 at 7 p.m.

Styling: Sasha Barrie at A&R Creative, supported by Meg Edmond. Make-up: Samantha Cooper at Carol Hayes with Image Skincare & Glossier. Hair: Julie Read at Carol Hayes with Philip Kingsley. Art direction and production: Ester Malloy

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