news

The Chester call centre roots of Peter Kay's Car Share star

Sian Gibson had all but given up on acting before being asked to play promotions rep Kayleigh

Peter Kay and Sian Gibson on their way to collect their National Television Award for best comedy(Image: Alan Chapman/Getty Images)

The actress who plays the vivacious passenger in Peter Kay’s Car Share was working in a Chester call centre when she was sent the script for the award-winning show.

The charming BBC sitcom charting the chats of two supermarket colleagues on their daily commute triumphed over Benidorm, Birds of a Feather and Not Going Out to be crowned best comedy at the 2016 National Television Awards last night (January 20).

Sian Gibson, who lives in Mold with her husband and daughter, had all but given up on acting and was working at Card One Banking in the city when an email from her old university pal Kay dropped into her inbox asking her to play promotions rep Kayleigh to Kay’s assistant manager John.

Peter Kay and Sian Gibson met as students at the University of Salford(Image: Matt Squire)

The pair met as performing arts students at the University of Salford.

Speaking to the Independent, Sian said: “I was just sick of going to auditions for parts which were three lines. You know, ‘That’s £1.99 please, love’. I’ve got a mortgage to pay. I was doing rubbish jobs and it was soul-destroying. There’s only so long you can go on.”

Her turn as Kayleigh, though, saw her transcend from jobbing actor to lead character in the biggest sitcom to premiere on any channel since 2011.

Bright future

Next up is a role in Catherine Tate’s new comedy Do Not Disturb, about the shenanigans that go on at a boutique hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon.

“Although I was chuffed to get the part in Do Not Disturb - it was an absolute dream part - I was scared as well,” she said.

“I knew it was quite scary, because no one had seen me before Car Share.

“Everyone sees me as Kayleigh - and I think that’s why people liked Kayleigh, because they took me as a real person.”

View full mobile page