‘Grantchester’ interview: Kacey Ainsworth on what Season 6 holds for Cathy

Grantchester is back!

Based on the novels by James Runcie, the popular ’50s crime drama series returned in the UK earlier this month.

The sixth season continues on Friday nights on ITV, and it’ll premiere in the US in October on PBS.

Watch the trailer:


Kacey Ainsworth (EastEnders) is reprising her role as Cathy Keating in the eight new episodes.

Here Kacey chats about what’s coming up for Cathy in the new season, and what it was like filming during the Covid lockdowns earlier this year:


Could you tell us a bit about where Cathy is at the beginning of this season?

“At the start of series six, Cathy is successfully juggling working and also being Geordie’s wife. They are all going on holiday together and she’s very excited about it, they’ve never done this. They don’t do this usually because Geordie is always welded to his work.

“They are going with the mindset that they’re going to get five days where there’s not going to be any disturbance – no talk of murder, no police work, nothing is going to happen. They’re just planning on having a good time but it doesn’t quite end up like that.”


As you say in the first episodes the whole gang goes to Merries? What was that like to film outside of Grantchester?

“It was amazing! The set was stunning, it was very nostalgic and reminded me of all those holiday camps that I visited as a child. I think it was something to do with the colours and the way everyone was dressed.

“If you could see the before and after pictures of what the set designers had done with the space, it looked amazing. You would never have known that it was October and freezing!”


What does your character have in store for her in this season?

“Cathy is enjoying the fact she is emerging out of the time of her children being babies and her focus being only on them. I think there will be loads of people who can understand and relate to that. The children have reached that age, where they are at school and she can rediscover herself and realise the things that make her tick.

“She’s enjoying this whole period of the late 1950s, we’re rolling up to the 1960s where everything felt like it was on the brink of being brilliant; rock’n roll was in, Elvis was visiting, there was a lot of change going on.

“Everything feels new and Cathy feels like she is emerging from a long period of time of caring for her young children. She has a teenage daughter as well which is wonderful on one hand but she’s still having to deal with a teenager’s moods on the other hand!”


How is she getting on with husband Geordie?

“They seem to be getting on OK and Cathy doesn’t feel like there are any issues but then something happens. Cathy isn’t exactly sure what it is and can’t work it out but as you do in a long term relationship, you think things will change and it’ll blow over but that doesn’t happen.

“Because of Cathy’s new found independence, her promotions at work and the fact that she’s generally doing and seeing more interesting things than she used to, she isn’t prepared to put up with this problem as she would have done in the 1940s…”


When you started on Grantchester did you think it would run for seven seasons?

“You always hope that people will like it enough for it to run for a while, I had initially thought for some people three series is enough to get the story across.

“I think what has happened with Grantchester is that we started from the point of a very intense relationship between the police and the religious community and it’s only grown from there. As the stories expand and the viewer learns more and delves deeper into other characters, there are only more stories to tell.

“It’s like looking through a camera lens and seeing the small dot and as you continue to look, you can see the whole picture. I think that’s why Grantchester has carried on for seven series, because we’re moving on in years so each year is different in terms of fashion and style and the way the show looks and what is available to the characters.

“The whole Grantchester family has expanded and that’s what makes it so brilliant.”


What other themes and storylines can viewers expect to see in this series?

“As usual with Grantchester, people tend to think of it as a sleepy 1950s version of Midsomer Murders but they watch it and realise it isn’t like that at all.

“I think we have a real Agatha Christie audience, Agatha is an amazing writer and the reason she’s still produced now is because of the amazing characters she writes. I think the viewers get to see something different every single year.

“You can’t predict the subject matter, from the evolution of computer science and forensics to what’s going on in the world, issues like women’s rights, civil rights, homophobia and so on.

Grantchester manages to switch between addressing world changing events to the changes that are happening in society.”


Why do you think viewers enjoy Grantchester so much?

“I think they like to see the characters coming in and evolving in their relationships, they love to see the evolution of the characters and their stories.

Grantchester gives people the opportunity to come in and play a lead character and that’s where they’re seen and they go onto to do other great things. Viewers like that mix of returning characters and new faces, actors who perhaps have done smaller roles who come to prominence in bigger roles.

“They see well known people from other shows coming in and having opportunities like Ross Boatman and Shaun Dooley, brilliant guests who want to do the show because they love the writing and as soon as they read it they think ‘I want to do this!’”


What was it like working through the pandemic?

“It was bonkers! The weird thing is that when I was working on Grantchester and immersing myself in the 1950s, I found myself physically escaping Covid. It was really odd, finishing after six months I realised what everyone else had been living through.

“Filming was odd, usually you just have to think about doing your job but now we had to think about social distancing and constantly washing our hands and protecting ourselves and each other from any risk. We had to switch between the two worlds, I felt like I had to cut myself off from reading too much about it.

“We were all safe which shows the protocols were really working and everything was in place, I did actually catch Covid off my son but I never brought it to set!”


Kacey Ainsworth and the rest of the cast are already busy filming the next season of Grantchester.

Premiering in 2022, Season 7 will be set in 1959 and we’ve got the first details here!

Grantchester is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.