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Co-written by Haggard and Laura Solon, the show follows Miri Matteson, a woman attempting to rebuild her life after being released from a year prison sentence for murdering her best friend, Lara, as a teenager. The original idea for Back to Life came when Haggard was pregnant and moved in with her parents while the flat she shared with her husband, musician Joe Wilson, was being renovated.
In the final episode of the first season, Miri found out that her mother played by Geraldine James is having an affair with her ex-boyfriend.
She also learnt the reason that she and Lara got into the fight that ended in tragedy was because Lara thought Miri was having sex with her father. It eventually transpired that it was their other friend, Mandy Christine Bottomleywho was sleeping with him. I was interested in the more mundane aspects — I wanted to know what they wanted to eat or what they wanted to do. One woman told me she just wanted to eat crunchy food because everything in prison was soft.
People will have opinions and things like that. I just want everyone to like it. It keeps your feet on the ground. It took a while for her to find her feet. Looking back on that time makes Haggard grateful that acclaim has come in her forties.
Just a couple of hours a day to write will do. As a woman writing a BBC dramedy, the comparisons to Fleabag are inevitable, though Haggard ascribes that to the lack of female-led sitcoms on screen. Everyone has to be allowed to tell stories.
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