She won a Bafta for Alma’s Not Normal – and that was just the pilot episode. As the full series launches, the ex-standup talks about growing up in care, getting the comedy bug in Ibiza and finally hitting the big time

Earlier this year, Sophie Willan went through an extraordinary run of extreme highs and lows. She was filming her sitcom Alma’s Not Normal, a project she started working on years ago, when her grandmother died. She had brought Willan up for part of her childhood and inspired a character in the show. The day after, Willan found out she had been Bafta nominated for comedy writing.

A few weeks later, while she watched the ceremony on a laptop on a picnic bench outside the converted barn she was staying in, Willan was named the winner. Her response, posted on Instagram by castmate Jayde Adams, is the most joyous thing you may see all year: Willan takes off on a victory lap, magnificent red sequinned dress matching a tractor in the background, sprinting and shouting “What the fuck?” over and over. “I woke up all the kids that had been put to bed in the house next door,” says Willan, laughing. “It was fabulous. It was surreal.”

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