Lolly Adefope’s year in TV: ‘We made a sex tape in Shrill – some of the noises I made were unacceptable’

The Ghosts star on loving Real Housewives, why Vigil made her cry, and what made The White Lotus perfect

Lolly Adefope, 31, started her career in standup comedy. She has appeared in series including Miracle Workers, Shrill, This Time With Alan Partridge and Ghosts, and is currently working on her first podcast, Fanmail, with Steve Coogan’s production company, Baby Cow.

What was the best thing you did on screen last year?
The best – or maybe the worst – thing I did was in the final season of the Hulu series Shrill. Me and ER Fightmaster, who plays Em, had a scene where our characters made a sex tape, and we just took the piss out of it. It was very fun, but some of the noises I made were kind of unacceptable.

Which role were you most jealous of in 2021?
I wish I’d been in The White Lotus. It had masterful acting, writing, directing – everything about it was perfect and it was a character comedy, which is what I do. It almost seemed like theatre, and the tension building up to the finale was very addictive. I didn’t see the ending coming at all.

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Who would play you in the TV show of your life?
Wunmi Mosaku, because people always get us confused. It’s one of those things where you can’t even say, “We’re just two Black women, we don’t look alike,” because we actually really do. I think we should play sisters.

What makes you happy?
Good wine. Good friends. Good food … Good sense of humour [laughs].

Your TV guilty pleasure
The Real Housewives. I’ve almost finished New York and I’ve moved on to New Jersey. And soon I’ll be moving on to another one. I could watch it all day, every day. It’ll change your life.

Lolly Adefope in the Ghosts Christmas Special.
Lolly Adefope in Ghosts. Photograph: Guido Mandozzi/BBC/Monumental Television

When was the last time the TV made you cry?
The moment in Vigil where Suranne Jones says to the villain: “I’m arresting you for murder,” but Paterson Joseph’s character doesn’t know that the person has been murdered, and you see him realising what’s happened. I burst into tears and I cried for 10 minutes. My boyfriend was like: “Stop!”

If your life were a TV show, what would the title be?
Lollywood, or maybe Lollypalooza.

What makes you reach for the remote (to turn the TV off)?
Post-match football commentary. I don’t mind it at half-time, but once it’s done, it’s done.

Who is the most famous person in your phone contacts?
Probably Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi from Miracle Workers. I don’t know which of them is more famous.

Are you Succession’s Team Shiv or Team Tom?
I’m 100% Team Tom, but really Kendall is my favourite – Jeremy Strong is the best actor in the world. Tom is probably the best thing about the show, though. He’s just unreal.

Ghosts is available on BBC iPlayer. For more information about the Virgin Media Bafta TV Awards, visit


Hannah J Davies

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