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Jessica Chaffin & Jamie Denbo
Ronna & Beverly
Ronna Glickman and Beverly Kahn-Ginsberg are a pair of 50-something Boston Jewish mothers — all big sunglasses and belted sweaters — and proud co-authors of a guide for divorcees You'll Do A Little Better Next Time. And now, their chat show, in which they cluck over and bully their startled celebrity guests, has arrived in Britain.
Except Ronna and Beverly are actually 30-something comedy performers and writers Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo, whose credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage. TV Choice met them for a chat…
Who have been your favourite British guests on Ronna & Beverly?
Jamie Denbo (Beverly): Charles Dance was probably our favourite. We also loved Claudia Winkleman, Sue Perkins, Alan Cumming, Frank Skinner and David Walliams. And we were excited to meet Stephen Mangan — I'm a huge Episodes fan. He's made a career out of being a sort of delightful, shell-shocked character who has a lot of chaos around him.
Jessica Chaffin (Ronna): I thought David Walliams was a great example of that.
Jamie Denbo: I think a lot is expected of him generally. He’s expected to perform and to be funny and charming and I think we came in and said, 'Sit down and we’re going to tell you exactly what we would like from you.’
Jessica Chaffin: And I actually think the minute he relaxed into it, he had a blast. He was great.
Did you ever look at your British guest list and think, ‘Who the hell are you?’
Jamie Denbo: Absolutely.
Jessica Chaffin: All the time.
Jamie Denbo: We had to be introduced to the affection that everyone has for Fern Britton, for example. But it was also nice to have a small level of ignorance because it helps us feel like we can be more intrusive. I think the word gets around that ours is a fun show to do. People get to show a different side of themselves — they’re not expected to tell the same stories that they’ll tell Graham Norton or Jonathan Ross. They can sit there and do very little or they can do as much as they want and let us play, you know?'
What do Jamie’s small children think of her dressing up?
Jessica Chaffin: Her daughter came to see her on set, and Jamie thought she'd be freaked out to see her mum as Beverly, but she was, just, like, 'Oh hi! That clown belongs to me. I am the spawn of that clown!'
Sky Atlantic, Monday