The Syndicate Series Blog: Episode Three

"What would Morgan Freeman have to say about this?"

Remember Bob (Timothy Spall)?

He’s the shop manager who was knocked out in the fake robbery. We saw him for about five minutes in the first episode, and he’s been in a hospital bed ever since.

While he was in getting his head stitched up, he was unexpectedly diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (an aggressive form of brain cancer) with a worrying prognosis.

Some might say Jamie did him a favour smacking him over the head with that whisky bottle. Jamie would say that. Jamie’s an idiot. Read more of this post

The Syndicate Series Blog: Episode Two

Let's go shopping!

Coming into a substantial amount of money is good for sorting the wheat from the chaff: specifically, discovering what your nearest and dearest really think of you.

Of course, it helps if your nearest and dearest have exceptionally bad timing and a soft spot for cruises.

This week is Denise’s episode. She’s the – ahem- ‘beautiful on the inside’ one, so naturally her response to a lottery win is to have enormous amounts of plastic surgery.

But there’s more to this than meets the eye, as it turns out her husband has just left her. He wanted to start again. He said he was 48 and had nothing to show for it, that she deserved someone who was attracted to her. And he did it moments before finding out she’d won the lottery. Ouch. Read more of this post

The Syndicate Series Blog: Episode One

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Everyone’s winning the lottery these days. It could be you. Sadly, it’s more likely to be the staff of your local supermarket. The ones who sell you generic cheese puffs and non-organic milk in an emergency.

The entire workforce of Right Buy U (worst shop name ever?) have won the lottery. All £18 million of it. But before we can watch this merry band splash their cash in reckless and vulgar ways, we need to get to know them four days earlier. Before the windfall.

Stu, his pregnant girlfriend Amy, and their little boy have moved back in with his mum. Stu’s younger brother Jamie lives there too. It’s as harmonious as you’d expect. Amy hates Stu’s mum, mainly due to the fact ‘she thinks she knows everything coz she’s a dinner lady’.

Indeed porridge and Louis Vuitton seem to be their main bones of contention. Read more of this post

Love Life

"Hang on: no hair? Vacant expression? Why, this baby looks just like Alexander Armstrong!"

Isn’t life hard? You break up with your girlfriend, go off and climb Everest, come back 11 months later and she’s all knocked up, but surprisingly cagey about naming the father. And you’re pretty sure it’s not you, because women can’t be pregnant for 11 months. But maths is hard too, so who knows?

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room first: Worst Fake Pregnancy Bump Ever. If having an ensemble cast means scrimping that hard on props, ITV, we probably could have done without the extremely peripheral characters of Joe’s brother’s wife and their fifteen kids. This would have enabled the very central character of Lucy to be dressed in something other than varying shades of wrap tops, quite clearly concealing an actual football pinned to her stomach. Read more of this post

Hairy Bikers’ Bakeation

'Pace yourself dad, we've got 8 weeks to go yet.'

David and Si, TV’s favourite Keith Floyd/Two Fat Ladies mash up, are back. And they’ve decided that what’s been missing from the world of TV food is biking and baking combined.

Baking, on vacation. Get it?

‘Trust me,’ promises one of the bikers,  ‘you’re gonna see a lot of yeast on this journey.’

Indeed.

But we’re not just talking bread here. Don’t be fooled. This is ‘cakes, pies, pastries. Almost anything that can be cooked in an oven.’ Almost anything: an important distinction. Probably not reheating last night’s takeaway pizza. Or the fraught defrosting of a bottle of wine you left in the freezer compartment to chill for a few minutes several hours ago. Read more of this post

Have You Been Watching…The Fisherman’s Apprentice with Monty Halls?

"You're a lightweight. You're fired"

Monty Halls is a marine biologist. This means he studies conservation and stuff. It’s complicated. It’s also not really important, as he’s jacking it all in for eight months to become a fisherman, to ‘learn the way of the sea’.

Every day starts with Monty peering into a hand-held camera and telling us how early in the morning it is. Ok, you get up really early every day. We get it. We’ve seen The Apprentice.

Nigel Leg, one of five skippers in Cornwall’s Cadgwith cove, has agreed to mentor Monty. Nigel is endlessly tolerant, like a kindly driving instructor in wellies. But to succeed, Monty’s going to need to earn the respect of the other skippers. Read more of this post

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