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Sian Clifford explains why success of Fleabag felt like a ‘physical pressure’

She appeared on Angela Scanlon’s Thanks A Million podcast.

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Sian Clifford tipped Fleabag for success right from the start (Ian West/PA)

Sian Clifford tipped Fleabag for success right from the start (Ian West/PA)

Sian Clifford tipped Fleabag for success right from the start (Ian West/PA)

Fleabag star Sian Clifford has said she felt like she had “a physical pressure” on her back prior to the release of the show’s second series.

The actress, who plays Claire, the sister of the programme’s eponymous heroine, said the pressure of maintaining the comedy-drama’s success had made her feel “quite anxious”.

Clifford, 38, also claimed to have successfully predicted that Phoebe Waller-Bridge would win a Bafta for her work on the show, after only having read the script for series one.

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The cast of Fleabag series two (Ian West/PA)

The cast of Fleabag series two (Ian West/PA)

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The cast of Fleabag series two (Ian West/PA)

Appearing on Angela Scanlon’s Thanks A Million podcast, she said: “When the first series came out, that was actually more overwhelming, I think, than now.

“Because that was completely new and unexpected. And this second series, and I’ve talked to you about energy and feeling things, Angela. I could feel how massive this was.

“When I read the first season’s scripts, I thought it was the best thing I’d ever read.

“And I told Phoebe in her trailer, when she was freaking out on set, that she would win a Bafta. I just knew it. I could feel it.

“And the second series, when I read those scripts, I did just think they were astonishing.

“Now, of course, you never know if it’s going to translate. You never know if you’re going to pull it off. It was a challenging shoot. It wasn’t straightforward.

“It’s very easy for us to sort of gloss over that now because it’s just come through.

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Angela Scanlon (Ian West/PA)

Angela Scanlon (Ian West/PA)

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Angela Scanlon (Ian West/PA)

“But I was quite anxious this time last year before it was coming out, because I could feel a physical pressure on my back. Then you knew you had to brace yourself.”

Clifford, who is currently starring in ITV’s Quiz, praised Fleabag’s cast and crew for supporting each other throughout the show’s success.

She said: “But as soon as that dam burst and it was unleashed, she was unleashed into the world…It hasn’t been overwhelming. We haven’t drowned in it. There is an ease to that.

“I don’t know if it’s just because we’ve had each other’s support and an amazing group, people around us who look after the show.

“I don’t know what it is, but it is that kind of fairytale where everything has just fallen into place and we’ve been wonderfully supported through that.”

Subscribe to Angela Scanlon’s Thanks A Million podcast online

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