Dyan Cannon and Laura Aikman have become friends. Dyan Executive Produces for ITVX. The show is based on her book and she had a hand in the making of the show. It means that along with the girlfriend that appears in the Christmas edition of Gavin and Stacey, Laura has two big shows this Christmas.
In her book Dear Cary, Dyan Cannon reveals she wasn’t looking for romance when she sat down for lunch with Cary Grant in the studio canteen; she was a young actress on the outskirts of Hollywood just hoping for her big break. Her sweet, sad, candid, but honest autobiography, Dear Cary, reveals a side of Cary Grant the world has never before seen. Executive Producer Cannon was keen that her book was interpreted carefully, and the casting of her as a young actress was right. After many conversations, video callbacks and auditions with every young actress in Hollywood and beyond, Laura Aikman was chosen. When they spoke after Laura had been contracted and were discussing Laura as the star, Dyan was shocked to discover that Laura is from England and the American accent that she had heard for months was not Laura’s native voice. The two became great friends and Dyan told Laura far more than went into any book to help her deep dive into playing Dyan.
Laura misses cruise on the P&O AZURA to film ARCHIE
The two spoke regularly throughout shooting, screening, and editing. Now friends, the two are both working the Archie press launch. Laura missed a planned cruise she was due to take on the P&O Azura, where her parents were both on board as celebrity guests. Her father Stuart St Paul is the Celebrity Stuntman, movie director, and cruise crime author of Cruise Ship Heist, and her mother, Jean Heard, is an actress who has played in the West End and On Broadway and now presents Doris Visits Cruise TV.
Dyan said, “I’m so proud of her. She really captured my heart. That’s not an easy thing to do. So thank you, Laura, for a wonderful performance.”
Laura said: “I just fell head over heels for Dyan. She’s so funny and charming and sexy. And I was just completely obsessed. And it was like listening to her and I was reading the book, which was like having a cheat sheet to the whole thing, you know. And I think for me, I was just trying to sort of match her energy if I possibly could. Diane’s so charismatic.I just wanted to do her justice.”
Laura Holly Aikman went to Haberdashers School in Northwest London, which Jason Issacs also attended. (as did Sacha Baron Cohen and Matt Lucas). At Habs she did many stage performances including Henry V speaking only in French. She left school just before A-levels, when the BBC asked her to lead out the Saturday morning Show MYSTI. She has also led out the series Personal Affairs, and played James Cordon’s girlfriend in the Christmas special of Gavin and Stacey.
The series concentrates on Dyan’s time with Cary from episode 2. The first episode sees the boy, Archibald Alec Leach, born in January 1904 in Bristol, UK, invent and become Cary Grant. What Dyan found in meeting Cary was a star-crossed soul mate – a man who fell instantly in love with her, pursued her relentlessly and eventually persuaded her to love him back equally. Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon were a glamorous and popular celebrity couple, the epicentre of chic and swinging 1960s Hollywood. For a few brief years, their romance flourished; she became his fourth wife, and they had a daughter. Their romance played out like one of Grant’s movies – bold, witty, full of dramatic gestures, and equally tender moments. When the love died, however, it ended in the same way it had started: dramatically, on courthouse steps and on the front page of every newspaper in the world. Sweet, sad, candid, and honest, Dear Cary reveals a side of Cary Grant the world has never-before seen. It has taken Dyan Cannon two decades to reconcile herself to the death of Cary Grant and to come to terms with their stormy, difficult love. Dear Cary, is the end result of that acceptance; her final love letter to her one true love, Cary Grant. Archie is a result of Dear Cary, and Laura Aikman portrays that sensitive role. Grant was married five times; to actresses Virginia Cherrill (1934–1935), Barbara Hutton (1942-1945), Betsy Drake (1949–1962), Dyan Cannon (1965–1968), and Barbara Harris (1981-1986).
Her mother is actress Jean Heard who presents the YouTube TV cruise channel Doris Visits.
Her father wrote the CSCI series. Stuart St Paul is often at sea doing lectures and book signings. He recalls, that when Laura started in the film industry people used to say, “Oh, you are Stuart St Paul’s daughter. Within a short time, when I walked on set they said to me, Oh, you’re Laura Aikman’s dad!” Even in my search engine that is my biggest credit! Well, it probably is along with my son Luke.
He goes on to say, “As proud as I was, it was time to put my feet up, cruise, and write.”