Five minutes with Jessica Knappett

Writer and star of Drifters


It might be Halloween but if your prefer laughing out loud to shrieking in terror, ditch the horror film tonight and tune it to E4’s new show Drifters.
It’s a new female-led, post-uni comedy (along the lines of Lena Dunham’s but set in Leeds), penned by and starring Jessica Knappett.
Drifters is, in Jessica’s words, ‘a very relatable show for people in their 20s. It’s about three girl best friends who are going through what can only be described as a quarter-life crisis. They are desperate for work and love and they are not going to get it!’
Sounds right up our street so we quizzed Jessica further…
How autobiographical is Drifters?
Tragically it’s like a fictionalised autobiography. Quite a lot of it is invented but I’ve drawn on my past experiences: while I was dressed as a phone or a piece of fast food, handing out flyers in a shopping centre or working as a vending machine assistant, I had quite a lot of time to zone out and plan my revenge…
So the character you play, Meg, is a version of you?
Definitely. Certainly how I used to be back in my early 20s - I was much more naïve about the way things were going to work out. Then I got a bit of a reality check, which is what Meg starts to go through as the series progresses. She is also quite socially awkward - we share that trait.
What is your boxset obsession?
I’m absolutely delighted that there is a new series of Made In Chelsea. It’s like a really posh soap, I love the glitz of it (their twinkly, glamorous bodies and their ridiculous love lives) and being able to indulge in that fantasy. I was also obsessed with Game Of Thrones and Educating Yorkshire is my current favourite!
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Some current comedy legends: Louis CK – he's absolutely infatuating, I would love to pick his brains apart - Woody Allen and Victoria Wood. I’d bring back Roald Dahl too, and have Heston Blumenthal cook for us.
Who makes you laugh on Twitter?
What book do you recommend?
Straight White Male by John Niven – an incredible book about hedonism.
What would the title of your autobiography be?
How Did This Happen?

The first episode of Drifters is on E4 tonight at 9pm
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