‘If Gemma Collins is a diva she gets blocked’: the secrets of TV stars’ WhatsApp groups

  • October 27, 2023
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Who’s never off The Crown group chat? Who sings whole songs in the Game of Thrones one? And who dropped a bombshell on the Bridgerton bunch? TV talent tell all about their WhatsApp groups

Behind every big TV series there is now a buzzing WhatsApp group. From spitballing ideas for great plotlines to arranging sweepstakes, and those dramatic “has left the chat” notifications, the action-packed groups used by people in television shows are constantly ablaze.

“If you put nine show-offs in a group, it becomes lively pretty quickly,” laughs Ghosts co-creator Larry Rickard – who plays caveman Robin and the head of Tudor spectre Humphrey. To manage the wildness while making the hit BBC comedy, he set up multiple group chats. There is one for all the lead actors called “Ghosts” (“which – out of the goodness of our hearts – we also let ‘livings’ Kiell Smith-Bynoe and Charlotte Ritchie into”), with another named “Idiot News” specifically for the writers – and not the cast (“They already know we’re massive nerds; they don’t need to see proof”). They’re packed with impersonations delivered via voice note (“Jim Howick does a helium-voiced cockney and Martha Howe-Douglas sounds like Noddy Holder”), but not everybody is always fully engaged. “You might wait a month to get a reply from Simon Farnaby – it’s like a visit from the Queen. In fact, one time he didn’t reply because he was actually with the Queen!”

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