‘It’s A Sin’: Lydia West’s mother is played by the real-life Jill

Jill Nalder, the real-life subject of one of the show's main characters, makes an appearance in the drama

Jill Nalder, the inspiration for Lydia West’s character in new Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, actually plays Jill’s mother in the show, it’s been revealed.

In Russell T Davies’ lauded new show, West plays Jill, one of the show’s protagonists. The character was based upon Nalder.

In a new interview on Virgin Radio, West discussed the process of portraying a woman who was cast as her mother in the show.


“[Russell T Davies] sent me a message saying the show was very loosely based about his life and his friends’ lives, and that the real Jill was playing my mother,” she revealed.

“He said, ‘I don’t want you to do anything differently, or analyse her or try and mimic it in any way.’

Olly Alexander
The cast of ‘It’s A Sin’. Credit: Channel 4

“Then I met her at the read-through and she was just everything that I hoped she would be. She’s absolutely gorgeous and stunning. It was very emotional. I couldn’t look at her throughout the read, I was looking down for it.”

Reviewing It’s A Sin, NME wrote: “It’s a Sin would be hard-hitting in any year. By telling this story through the eyes of warm, flawed and sometimes frustrating characters you’ll care about, it offers a heartbreaking reminder of the countless lives claimed by HIV/AIDS.”


It’s A Sin premiered on Channel 4 last Friday (January 22), and will share new episodes weekly. The whole series is also available to stream on the network’s All 4 service.