Sunday with Lesley Manville: ‘Champagne on a Sunday is always a treat’


How does Sunday start? With a gasp as I wake up, followed by that relief of remembering I’ve no work commitments. I try to lie in until 9am, then make a fresh ginger and lemon drink; clear and cleansing. I’ll pop to the local bakery and luxuriate in my treats. And Radio 4 is on, as it remains all morning.

Do you work? We tend not to film, but there’s always Monday morning. I’ll often punctuate Sundays by reading scripts, but somehow I don’t mind it. I’m not great at working in concentrated spurts, I’m best in bite-size pieces: a half hour stint followed by a croissant suits me.

Sundays growing up? Ours was a working-class family in Hove: in the mornings Mum would cook and I’d score Dad’s snooker games at the Royal British Legion. He was a fairly successful gambler, so we often had more cash than we should have. If he was flush we’d go out for lunch before gouging winkles on the sofa for tea.

Do you entertain? I love to cook for guests. My son and his girlfriend are vegetarian – as I mostly am, too – but if carnivorous friends are over, I’ll chuck a great hunk of meat in the oven. Either way I’ll pour myself a dry sherry on the rocks in the kitchen.

A treat? Champagne! I work a lot and I can’t drink in the evenings before getting up at dawn and spending 12 hours filming. Champagne Sunday is a treat. It helps make the mundanity of laundry, washing up and weeding rather lovely. Perhaps I’m embracing my inner Princess Margaret.

And Sunday night? I rarely watch TV, but winter evenings with Antiques Roadshow and Countryfile are comforting. During the summer you’ll struggle to pull me away from the garden. Either way, I’ll polish off the champagne and hop through radio channels: time for a singalong or dance in the kitchen.