Villanelle’s Cafe

As a fan of it’s excellent first series, the other day I began watching the second series of drama Killing Eve on BBC iPlayer. The story of the hunt for a psychopathic Russian hit woman played by Jodie Comer; the Scouser winning a Best Actress BAFTA for her convincingly evil portrayal in the season one.

Last year, on learning of the actresses surname my first notion was whether she’s related to late actor John Comer – The guy who during the 1970’s/80’s played hen-packed owner of Sid’s Cafe in BBC TV comedy Last of the Summer Wine. If they are, it has to be said there’s not a massive family resemblance.

Compo, Clegg and Foggy’s cafe owner buddy John Comer
Killing Eve star Jodie Comer

Despite the aesthetic differences facially, I’m remaining open-minded about whether the late actor and 26 year old actress are blood relatives. After all, both Comer’s (pronounced comber) are Lancastrians by birth, each can boast they’ve never acquired the nickname Beach Comer, and the duo are both big fans of marmite on toast….. Or in John’s case, was a big fan. Since he passed away it’s reported he isn’t as keen on grilled bread topped with vegemite.

I’m not sure what Last of the Summer Wine characters Foggy, Compo and Clegg would’ve thought of Jodie Comer’s Killing Eve character Villanelle as owner of Sid’s cafe, as opposed to the endearing self-deprecation once provided by John Comer. These three idiosyncratic characters in their dotage, who during the 1970’s/80’s liked nothing more than embarking on frequent eccentric escapades, ordinarily involving hurtling down a Pennine Hill in a tin bath,

I’d advocate the trio would’ve had to tread carefully. The Russian hit woman not a lady to antagonise with flirtatious geriatric misogyny as she served cuppas, and prepared stale white bread sandwiches with unappealingly bland fillings.

This twenty-something girl even more dangerous than Sid’s harridan wife Ivy (played by Jane Freeman) who, although never armed with anything more lethal than a rolling pin or metal tea tray, was herself a fearsome adversary when rattled.

That being said, mass murderer or not, I’d venture Villanelle would carry a pair of wrinkled stockings and garish pinafore dress with greater style than Ivy, or Nora Batty (the target of Compo’s unwanted attentions). As a consequence, Villanelle’s Cafe would’ve no doubt provided an easier on the eye female manager than it’s previous ownership.

Thus far, I’ve watched the first three episodes of Killing Eve’s second series. Cast, writer and production team carrying on this season where the first series left off. Gripping drama in which Villanelle is played with such humour and pathos by Jodie Comer that, like the eponymous mass-murdering character in the US drama Dexter, I find myself inexplicably rooting for the bad ‘guy’.

To conclude, I noticed during research for this essay (yes, believe it or not, I do research this nonsense) Jodie Comer was born on the exact same day in March 1993 as my daughter Rachel.

In a further coincidence my offspring exhibits remarkably similar feistiness and high maintenance behaviour as Ms Comer’s character Villanelle……. Blimey, coming to think of it, Rach’s asked me to build six patios in the past fortnight!!….. One of these, after running out of space in the garden, constructed in the kitchen!!…… Bloody hell!!

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