It was when they took over the Penguin that they found their home…
I can’t remember the first time I saw Steve Evets on screen, I think it might have been Clocking Off but it was a long time ago. He was one of the screen actors that I’d identified with and who had convinced me I could be an actor. He was northern, working class and you could tell – he spoke a bit like me.
So, when Paul asked me to be involved in the project and said he would love it if he could put me and Steve together, I was well up for it – Steve was oblivious to all this at the time.
It was a bit weird really as only a couple of days before Paul mentioned Steve, I had listened to Steve’s Two Shot podcast with Craig Parkinson (btw if you haven’t already, you really need to listen to both eps) and I was still laughing inside, thinking about his tales from the merchant navy, the time when his wellies froze to the ship’s deck- while he was wearing them, the time when he went awol and the rest – comedy gold!
During the six months that followed the Bennett family began life and it went something like this:
Shirley met Gordon at school. They were childhood sweethearts on and off from 1st year (Gordon did all the chasing). They got together again at Christmas 1982 and were engaged 12 months later. They were married on Christmas Eve 1986 and had Christian in 1987.
Shirley was boss behind the bar at the previous pub they had. Her name was above the door. Gordon pulled his weight and was always there to lend a hand but spent a lot of time socialising with the customers. Shirley liked it that way. She was queen of the castle and knew she could always depend on Gordon when she needed to.
But it was when they took over the Penguin they’d found their home. They got to know their friends and neighbours and those moments, laughs and tears and their shared struggles brought them together as a big extended family. Shirl and Gordon would do anything for them, and they’d do anything for Shirl and Gordon.
Shirley & Gordon had always wanted a big family and after having Christian, a couple of years later, they decided to try for more children. Shirley had a couple of miscarriages. It was an awful time for them both and they came to the conclusion that they were meant to be a family of three. However, totally out of the blue in 1999 Shirley found out she was pregnant again. It was a shock and a really worrying time and it meant Gordon had to take over the running of the pub. They were blessed with a baby girl, Ellie and our Bennett family was complete.
So, we jump forward to 1st May this year, when Steve walked through the door. After wading through the ‘alrights,’ ‘how are yous,’ ‘welcome on board mates’ he finally came over to Paul who introduced us.
“Gordon, Shirl. Shirl, Gordon. ” We shook.
“Lovely to meet you”
“Nice to meet you”
“Where’s my tea?”
“Piss off and get your own tea!”
And with that, the Bennetts were born!