Line of Duty actor Craig Parkinson hits out at Joanna Page for criticism of BBC comedy

Joanna Page has come under fire for her unfiltered take on the new BBC comedy Things I Should Have Done, after admitting that she found the show “unbearable”.

The Gavin and Stacey star recently launched a podcast with EastEnders staple Natalie Cassidy. Named Off the Telly, the BBC Sounds programme features the TV actors sharing their opinions on other programmes – good, bad and otherwise.

In the most recent episode of the podcast, Page, 47, shared her unimpressed reaction to the six-part show, which was written by and stars comedian Lucia Keskin as a lazy “stay-at-home daughter” who is suddenly forced to grow up and fend for herself.

After reading aloud a listener’s comment in praise of the show, Page said: “Do you know what things I should have done? Not bothered to f***ing watch it.”

Adding on some appreciation for Keskin, Page continued: “I feel awful, because I want to say, good on her for getting her own damn show, ‘cause that’s flipping hard. [She’s] obviously highly talented, and a comedian.

“Well, you don’t think so!” replied Cassidy.

Page then noted that despite her belief in Keskin’s “obvious talent”, she “thought the show was s***.

“And I don’t often think that, right – and I want to say, well done on you, right, because you’ve got your own show. And I haven’t got my own show! I’ve not written anything, but you know. So flipping heck, that’s amazing.

Lucia Keskin in Things You Should Have Done (BBC / Roughcut TV / Jack Barnes)
Lucia Keskin in Things You Should Have Done (BBC / Roughcut TV / Jack Barnes)

“But I thought it was unbearable. It’s not often, right, that I can’t watch something. So bored. I was so bored.”

As clips of Page’s comments circulated on social media, Line of Duty actor Craig Parkinson was among those who spoke out against her sharing her negative opinion of a TV show, particularly as someone who may also face critique as a person in the entertainment industry.

He wrote in an X/Twitter post on Thursday (28 March): “Personally, I think that if you work in television and are then given a platform to discuss television you really shouldn’t be slagging off television. Bit of an unwritten rule.

“It really isn’t classy.”

Craig Parkinson and Joanna Page (Getty)
Craig Parkinson and Joanna Page (Getty)

Keskin has also responded to Page’s critique with a video – filmed in a typically deadpan fashion.

As the on-screen caption displays the words “POV: you wrote a TV show and Stacey West hates it”, referring to Page’s Gavin and Stacey character, Keskin sits in a chair eating a banana. Quotes from the podcast are heard in the background.

When Page repeats that the show left her feeling “bored”, Keskin is seen sticking a post-it note on a hanging photo of the Gavin and Stacey cast with the similar-sounding word “bald” on Page’s face.

The BBC shared the following statement with The Independent: “Joanna and Natalie don’t hold back with their honest opinions in Off The Telly and although the series wasn’t Joanna’s cup of tea, she said Lucia Keskin was obviously highly talented and congratulated her on having her own show.

“Natalie said she would continue watching the series which came highly recommended from a listener and her daughter who both loved it, and mixed views are exactly what listeners can expect to hear on this refreshingly authentic podcast.”

The Independent has reached out to a representative of Joanna Page for further comment.

New episodes of Off the Telly are released every Wednesday on BBC Sounds.