Tag Archives: Denis Lawson

Holby City: Young adults everywhere

(Series 21, ep. 2 ‘China Crisis’ by Joe Ainsworth 8.1.19) Happy new year, Holby fans! The review for this episode is over at Metro, and now I’ve come out of Christmas hibernation I can summon up a few additional random thoughts about it.

Tom Campbell-Gore succumbed to the Curse of the Holby Relative/Friend/Staff Member fairly easily, didn’t he? It’s a shame, really, as I was rather enjoying his arrogant ways. And enjoying Serena putting him in his place very much.

I rather like Ange at first sight, though she does remind me of Colette Sheward in a practical, sleeves-up, no-nonsense kind of way.

Has the YAU (I hear that in my head as a James Brown sort of ‘Yow!’) been conceived so that Holby can nurture the next generation of young acting talent by bringing in lots of Young Adults? It  would be very commendable if so, but I do get a bit vexed by these ‘units’ that take over perfectly sensible wards. It’s usually Darwin that gets corners of it stolen by other departments, but they always get their territory back in the end. I wonder how long the YAU will last before someone decides they need the beds back?

Essie does love a Special Uniform, doesn’t she?

Cameron’s appearance on Darwin prompted some of the best lines of the week (‘That’s all I need, another pound shop Hugh Grant’ and the line about ‘Foetus and Fauntleroy’ from Jac), but I think my favourite line in the whole episode was ‘Serena Campbell. No Gore.’

The scenes between Lorraine Chase and Jaye Jacobs were beautiful.

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Holby City news: Sharon D. Clarke and Denis Lawson return to the wards of Holby

sharon d clarke holby2019 is the 20th anniversary year for Holby City – and you can expect lots of guest appearances and surprises in the run up to the 1,000th episode in the autumn.

First off, long-standing Holby fans will be delighted to hear of the return of Sharon D. Clarke as the inimitable Lola Griffin, ex-wife of the esteemed Ric. For those who haven’t met Lola yet you’re in for a treat – she’s one of my favourite ever Holby characters. She’ll only be back for one episode, in which she’ll ‘hold a mirror up to Ric’ as he reflects on his time at Holby. ‘I spent 3 ½ happy years playing Lola,’ Sharon says. ‘She was the kind of woman I would have loved to have seen on my screen when I was growing up. I was very proud to bring her to life and be a part of the Holby family. I’m so excited to be treading the wards again, and seeing what Lola will be getting up to for Holby’s 20th Anniversary. Hey, Ric, Lola’s back in town!

denis lawson holbyDenis Lawson also returns as CT surgeon Tom Campbell-Gore, who will be a rival to Ric for some crucial funding. This storyline will also introduce new surgeon Ange Godard (played by Dawn Steele). Lawson, who left Holby in 2004, says, ‘I have great memories of my time on Holby City and I’m delighted to be back on my old stomping ground with the Holby cast and crew.’

Executive Producer Simon Harper is also teasing more excitement to come in the months ahead. ‘We want to give the audience a whole year of anniversary treats, paying homage to the show’s heritage with some delicious returning characters – but also celebrating the new, working towards the 1000th episode around Bonfire Night… which is set to be an explosive story indeed!’

He’s also delighted about Denis and Sharon returning to Holby. ‘It’s a massive thrill to have Denis back, not only as one of our country’s foremost actors but also as one of Holby’s original bad boys in the show’s early years! Tom Campbell-Gore hasn’t changed a bit since he left Holby 15 years ago and definitely has some scores to settle with Ric… And it’s such a coup to have Sharon here again. It’s fantastic too, given how in demand she is  – not only is she a fabulous actor and a much loved tender, funny Holby character but  we clearly couldn’t let the anniversary pass without the appearance of one of Ric’s many ex-wives to ruffle his feathers.’

I can’t wait!

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Candy Cabs: “Emmeline Pankhurst threw herself under a bus so I could do this!”

Welcome to Candy Cabs, BBC One’s new comedy-drama. To misquote Henry Ford, the titular Candy Cabs come in any colour you like as long as they’re pink. This pinkness extends to the whole series – insubstantial and often cliched yet pretty and fun.

The opening scene is Candy Cabs in a nutshell. The first thing we see is a hearse bearing a bright pink wreath which reads “Shazza”, accompanied by that gloomy yet still bingy-bongy salsa type music, usually heard when an unfortunate Cash In The Attic contestant’s 17th century plate has sold for £1.50 rather than the £150 estimate given. This wildly uneven tone is not then helped by Jo Joyner (aka her from Eastenders) emerging from a car in a weird Royal Ascot headdress, comforting a disconsolate blonde girl apparently made up of 20% lip gloss, 80% spray tan.

"In your face, The Killing!"

We quickly learn that Shazza was the mother of disconsolate blonde girl and about to start the Candy Cabs business with her big mates Jackie (Jo Joyner) and Lainey (Lisa Millet). Unfortunately this was curtailed by Shazza’s untimely demise. “Honestly” complains Jackie “Who drops dead in Asda by the reduced bread section?”. After a bit of umming and aahing at the funeral, Jackie and Lainey decide to go ahead after all, despite the ominous presence of rival cab firm owner (Denis Lawson, everyone’s favourite smoothie) and the unexpected test of actually having to pass the Knowledge (the scene where they all pelt each other with screwed-up balls of papers prior to the start of the exam is ridiculous yet delightful in equal measures).

Candy Cabs is very much of the Fat Friends/Playing The Field/Cutting It school of comedy drama. Earthy Northern Humour? Check. Loud, squealing female cast with feckless or decent-but-long-suffering husbands? Check. Soul-crushingly banal  incidental music? Check. Continue reading

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Marchlands: Plumbing that goes bump in the night

This is essentially a haunted house story for wimps, since every time the tension and suspense builds up to any degree, it’s interrupted by REALLY BLOODY ANNOYING ADVERTS. Sorry to shout, but really, those twatting meerkats. I’d drown them. And, as it happens, that would fit in nicely with the plot of Marchlands. Actually, I’m really enjoying this. It’s got a great cast. Anne Reid is always class. I’ve loved Denis Lawson ever since Local Hero. Even in 1980s fashions, Alex ‘Dr Corday’ Kingston is as beautiful as ever here, as is Shelley Conn (from Mistresses, here playing the heavily pregnant Nisha).Dean Andrews from Life on Mars is very good.

And I really like the idea, of the core ‘character’ of a drama being a house, as lived in by three families over five decades. To make this series, they had to film every scene from each era (1960s, 1980s and present day) before entirely refitting and decorating the same house. Which they do brilliantly. I find it fascinating.

I’ve never lived in a new house, and one thing I like about buying old ones is uncovering the ‘secrets’ of past occupants. So long as your property has never had a forensic makeover, you discover things over the years about the previous occupants. A buried ornament in the garden, patches of ancient layers of wallpaper, kids’ stickers or pencilled heights drawn inside the cupboard doors. And if you’re in a town or village, you might bump people who once lived there.

Hopefully they won’t remember it because it was the site of a tragedy, however. One which seems to have led to the plumbing being frankly not up to Corgi standards. Marchlands, it seems, was once the place where an eight year old girl, Alice, lived, who drowned in tragic, and slightly mysterious circumstances and whose restless ghost haunts the house (and plumbing) for future inhabitants.

I guess the true story will slowly unravel. I fear Denis Lawson may not come out of it well, but I may be wrong.

We’re now three episodes in, but you can catch up, thanks to ITV Player allowing access to programmes for longer than the stingy week that BBC iPlayer offers them (but with ITV Player, you get all the adverts, so it’s swings and roundabouts). My only caveat is that if, like me, you don’t believe in ghosts, you might raise an eyebrow or two, since the story hangs on the troubled spirit of the dead child, Alice, trying to communicate her story through future generations. But even so, this is a good, well written and acted drama.

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