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'I wish I'd had your balls': the star of My Mad Fat Diary meets its writer

26 January 2014 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

My Mad Fat Diary is based on Rae Earl's darkly funny self-harm memoir. So what happened when she met her screen self? Some fighting talk about diets, death threats and Sydney Youngblood

Sharon Rooney is looking baffled and a little scared. Only hours after first meeting the person whose troubled late teens she portrays in E4's warm and acerbic comedy-drama My Mad Fat Diary, the same woman is bellowing the tinny funk of 1989 toe-tapper If Only I Could at her. "You don't know Sydney Youngblood?" cries Rae Earl, incredulously. "Do you know Ride on Time by Black Box?" The caterwauling a-cappella rendition of Italian house that follows is as cacophonous as it is inevitable. Rae Earl is 42. The 24-year-old sitting beside her rolls her eyes.

Their personalities are as distinct as their upbringings. "I wish I'd had your balls when I was in my teens," says Rooney to Earl, »

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