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Sugar Rush Interview - Part 2

Sugar Rush Interview - Part 2

by Toni

In Part Two of our interview the Sugar Rush stars Olivia Hallinan and Lenora Crichlow tell us about Channel 4ís shock cancellation of the award winning show and why Angelina Jolie is the only girl for Lenora.

LoveGirls: How important is the show to the lesbian community?

Lenora: The feedback weíve had tells us it's been really important. We went to the Stonewall awards and several women came up to us and said it was so refreshing to see lesbians just being girly, being teenagers and theyíre not all you know stereotypical with shaved heads and burning their bras ... being Ďlesbiansí [laughter]. Sugar Rush didnít feed into all those stereotypes and for the lesbian community that was important and refreshing because they are not represented on TV. Sugar Rush didnít set out to be politically correct or make a stand, it created its own little world where the storylines happened.

Olivia: I still get letters now from girls saying thank you. Itís really touching to have these lovely letters. A lot of girls say I helped them, and they can relate to Kim because they were going through the same thing. They tell me their life stories, itís like they think I am Kim.

Lenora: We are in a society now where TV is a whole culture. It affects everyoneís lives and if there is nothing on TV representing you itís a massive problem. Everyone has got their thing, whether youíre into pop music or rock music you have always got something. So for young teenage girls struggling with their sexuality Sugar Rush was that. It was something to identify with and to relate to whether or not it was exactly right. It broke a taboo.

Sugar Rush Chatting

LoveGirls: What sort of letters do you get from fans?

Olivia: They write about them and their girlfriend going to Brighton and visiting all the spots from the show. They go to the Munch Box, which isnít the Munch Box and are very upset it isnít. They remember things that even I donít remember! They sent me the photos. I get really, really, really positive letters.

Lenora: Yes, itís lovely stuff. One young girl wrote to me and asked me to wear her necklace in Sugar Rush. It was very touching because she just loved the show. She wasn't a lesbian at all and wasnít struggling with anything. The necklace had big green bits on it and she wrote ďItís really colourful and Sugarís character is really colourful so I thought you can wear it in a sceneĒ. Unfortunately I wasnít able to sneak it into one of the scenes.

LoveGirls: What would you consider your highlights of the show?

Lenora: There are just so many!

Olivia: Oh, the freezing nights on the beach...

Lenora: Yes, they were hard nights on Brighton seafront. It was filmed in February March time and Sugarís not one for practicality with her stilettos...

Olivia: There are some scenes where I can see in post-production I'm slurring a bit because I was so cold [laughter]. I remember thinking ďI really canít feel my hands nowĒ, they were like purple.

Lenora: One scene that really stands out is when Sugar and Kim start pole dancing! That was good fun because we had some real pole dancers in telling us how to do it and what the moves were called. Me and Olivia were just having a laugh, but they took it really seriously.

Olivia: There are lots of highlights just because we were all so close; it was like a family after two years.

LoveGirls: Channel 4 say the decision to cancel the show is based on the lack of a scheduling slot. What Channel 4 programme would you have Sugar Rush replace?

Lenora: Take your pick! Big Brother, Big Brother, Big Brotherís Little Brother, Big Brotherís Brain, Big Brotherís arm and leg! [laughter]

Olivia: Itís because they want to make Big Brother longer. So now Big Brotherís going to be on from 10pm to 11pm [when Sugar Rush was on].

Lenora: I think half an hour of Big Brother is more than enough! I'm not taking anything away from Big Brother Ė itís Channel 4's biggest show and obviously it makes sense to make it a priority, but I think there is room for non-reality TV as well.

Olivia: I donít think it should replace a show but it should be given a time slot. Itís such a shame.

Lenora: It was an asset to Channel 4. I don't think Channel 4 recognises Sugar Rush was a brave move and did really well for the channel.

Sugar Rush Chatting

LoveGirls: When the second series finished did you think there wouldn't be a third series?

Both: No!

Lenora: Especially the way we leave series two [with Sugar moving in with Kim and Saint], it sets things up for series three. It was sort of a last minute thing [for Channel 4 to cancel the show].

LoveGirls: Do you have any message for your fans?

Lenora: Thank you very much for the support and for the open-mindedness; for giving Sugar Rush a chance and accepting it and having fun with it. To everyone it touched I think the most important thing, whether youíre gay or not, is to be true to yourself. Find your own truth, and just have the strength whether youíre gay, straight, black, white, green or blue. Especially if youíre green or blue! [laughter]

Olivia: When I went into Sugar Rush I really didnít have any idea how it would turn out. We were all a bit unsure and when we saw the finished product we didnít know how people were going to take it. The response has been fantastic so thank you for watching and thank you for all your support and boo to Channel 4! [laughter].

LoveGirls: Finally, we have a friend in America called Arlan who sells these great t-shirts saying. ďI'd go gay for...Ē If you had to wear one whose name and picture would be on it?

Lenora: [laughs] Olivia ...

Olivia: [laughs] Yes, I'd pick you too ...

LoveGirls: But if you couldnít pick each other?

Olivia: Jessica Alba.

Lenora: Let me think, there are just so many beautiful women! I think Angelina Jolie is just stunning, stunning, stunning ...

Edited by Anabel Unity Sale
Photography by Gemma Betts

We spoke at length to both girls and they really are genuinely sad that the show has come to end, they would have loved to make at least one more series to tie up the loose ends. So how can you make a difference? A huge corporation like Channel 4 surely wouldn't listen to you? Maybe not you alone but it will listen if there are thousands of us standing together.

Lets see if a small community of like minded women really can make a difference! Leave a comment letting us know how you feel about the show being cancelled. If we reach 2000 comments I will pass your messages on to the girls and they will select one of you to meet up with them and hang out for a day. LoveGirls will arrange something fun for the three of you to do - a spa day, snowboarding, racing or whatever the 3 of you agree on!

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I am not a lesbian girl but have just finished watching both series and it was outstanding on every level. It depicts so may aspects that are so important to all of us and there are may learnings that can be had from it not to mention the fact the show is sweet and funny!! There will be no series 3 but shame on channel 4 for not backing what was a successful show which if re released would still do very well. A remake maybe? Unlikely but shame on all involved in the cancellation.

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