Rose Matafeo on exploring her thirties in Starstruck series 3: ‘This is the age things get spicy!’

Those of us who fell for the fairy-tale romance of cinema worker Jessie and A-list actor Tom in BBC sitcom Starstruck are in for a shock. The new series is set two years on and the lovers are no longer together.

Comedian and creator Rose Matafeo returns as Jessie, the New Zealander living in London whose one-night stand with big movie star Tom (Nikesh Patel) blossomed into an unlikely love story. The new season follows Jessie as she embraces her thirties, copes with having a famous ex and finds new love.

“It’s been really fun to be able to play a new romance and explore the complications of having an ex,” says Rose, 31. “I just love that juicy, juicy stuff!”

Jessie is forced to face her feelings as she bumps into Tom at a wedding, although she soon meets Liam, a charming Scot played by Vigil’s Lorne MacFadyen who gives the Hollywood heartthrob a run for his money. “Lorne is good, isn’t he?

"He’s a worthy rival for a character who you’ve already invested so much time into,” Rose says. “It’s a classic romcom trope!”

The Taskmaster star once again drew on her own experiences to write the character of Jessie, who is watching her friends get married and start families. However, she is struggling to come to terms with the “shift in life” herself.

“You think it happens in your twenties and then you’re like, ‘Oh no, this is the age where things start getting spicy!’ There are a lot of my own observations of what it’s like to be this age, and forging a different path from the people you grew up with. She’s watching her friends experience ‘next life-stage’ stuff and she’s not participating in it.”

Rose has no plans to write another series of Starstruck in the foreseeable future. “I’d love to do something different for
a while,” she reveals.

The comedian recently did a stint guest-hosting the game show Pointless alongside Alexander Armstrong. “The daytime TV audience is brutal – worse than people who watch my comedy and they can be pretty harsh!” she laughs, adding that they weren’t afraid to give their feedback on Twitter.

She adds, “Lots of the feedback was quite positive, which is sweet. And it opened me up to a new demographic of viewers. Hopefully they’ll watch Starstruck. I should have plugged it!”

Starstruck series three airs on Monday 28th August at 10pm on BBC Three.

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