Tracey Ullman says the chats with her late husband inspired her BBC sketches

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The actress and comedian created Tracey Ullman’s Show in 2016, three years after her producer husband Allan McKeown died from prostate cancer, aged 67.

She told Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4: “It meant a lot to me [for the show] to be good. And I talked to Allan all the time in my trailer, ‘What do you think of this Al, what about this sketch?’

“[He would say] ‘It’s funnier, but it’s still not funny. More energy’. And I would drive home some nights and tell him about my day. I felt he — it sounds corny — but maybe his spirit and energy was there with me.”

Tracey, 61, married Allan in 1983, three months after falling in love with him on a train ride when she was 23.

She explained: “It was like one of those rom-coms, where you don’t like someone.

“I met him at a train station, and it was just Birmingham to London, and I went, ‘I don’t want to travel with you, you’re not a very nice person, you’re very rude.’

“And he went, ‘Shut up, I’ll buy you breakfast.’ And in an hour and 10 minutes, he just charmed the pants off me.”

Ms Ullman, who lived in Los Angeles for 30 years as “women had been given a shot at comedy in the US”, added that she moved back to the UK shortly after her husband’s death because “there was more dignity to being a widow in London”.

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