Rita, Sue And Bob Too Reunited In The New Issue Of Empire

Believe it or not: Rita, Sue And Bob Too is 30 years old this year. The groundbreaking 1987 comedy-drama from director Alan Clarke – which featured the immortal poster tagline “Thatcher’s Britain With Her Knickers Down – depicted two Bradford schoolgirls who embark on a fling with a married man from their council estate, at once funny and frank. To mark the anniversary, the new issue of Empire reunited the trio of Siobhan Finneran (Rita), Michelle Holmes (Sue) and George Costigan (Bob), gathering them all back to the Buttershaw estate where it all started.

Rita Sue Bob TooMichelle Holmes, George Costigan and Siobhan Finneran, photographed exclusively for Empire by Tom Barnes at the Buttershaw estate, Bradford, on 17 March 2017.

Rita Sue Bob TooMichelle Holmes, George Costigan and Siobhan Finneran, as they were in 1987.

“It was a bit daunting,” admits Finneran of returning to the estate they made famous (and infamous), some three decades on. And while those three decades may have passed, they are unbelievably easy and warm in each other’s company — drinking tea and verbally tripping over themselves, and each other, in a deep dive to the memories they haven’t much revisited since.

An authentic portrayal of working class life in 1980s Northern England, Rita, Sue And Bob Too scandalised conservative British society for its unapologetic depiction of sex. But the actors remain defiant. “The film is true,” says Costigan. “And remains true as long as you’ve got an underclass and an underclass that says, ‘I can’t think of anything to do, let’s have a fucking shag.’”

For the full reunion interview, pick up a copy of the new issue of Empire magazine, on sale from Thursday 18 May. Want to get your copy days before anyone else? Subscribe to Empire here. The 30th anniversary edition of Rita, Sue And Bob Too arrives on DVD and Blu-Ray from 22 May.