Trollied, Series Seven, Episode Eight ~ Review

It’s the series finale! That’s crept up on us faster than you can say Serves You Right! Do Gavin (Jason Watkins) and Cheryl (Sarah Parish) reconcile? Will Lou (Sally Phillips) find another job? Is Linda (Faye McKeever) set to get back with Nev (Dominic Coleman)? Will Lisa (Beverly Rudd) ever open her till? Read all about it here:

Eye Contact

Cheryl and Gavin were headed for splitsville last week following Gavin’s confession about his reasons for hiring Lou. However, things are looking up, quite literally as apparently she’s started making eye contact again! Will the wedding be on again?

Linda’s Lament

Linda (Faye McKeever) has started mooning after Neville again! Yes, Neville! However, Sue (Lorraine Cheshire) is quick to tell her to leave him alone. Wisely, despite her protest that her happiness should come before Nev’s, Linda tells Nev she hopes he and Meg have something special, like they did.

Best Man

Brian (Stephen Tompkinson) insists that he will be Gavin’s Best Man and has Margaret (Rita May) listen to his speech. Which is rather like an essay! Poor Brian, he’s got no insight whatsoever and he certainly isn’t going to be Gavin’s best man!

New Night Manager

There’s a new Night Manager! It’s Lou!! When Cheryl talks to the clueless soon to be ex employee she finds reasons to keep her on and also reconnects with her reasons for loving and wanting to marry Gavin. So, the wedding is back on!

Stag & Hen

Lisa and Colin (Carl Rice) are getting stuck into planning the stag and hen dos, with Katie (Chanel Cresswell) trying her best to reign it in and organise a more sedate offering. When the unwitting newly-weds-to-be arrive in the canteen for their surprise do they’re first treated to a quiz. However, the raucousness soon breaks out at the hands of Lisa and Colin and the photographic evidence is hilarious! Surely we’ll have a series eight as there’s still a wedding to come, now!




The Moorside Part 2 ~ Episode Review

The concluding part of The Moorside was television drama at its best, I can’t speak highly enough about the way in which the entire ensemble have worked together to create such a hard-hitting piece.

As Karen Matthews (Gemma Whelan) is the subject of gossip and rumours on the estate and Craig (Tom Hanson) is arrested for child pornography found on his computer, it seems that Karen’s only friend is Julie (Sheridan Smith). Natalie (Sian Brooke) has continued to offer help to look after Karen’s other kids, but remains suspicious of her next door neighbour. The revelation from Matthews’ own mouth is played out in DCI Freeman’s (Siobhan Finneran) car and it’s startling, horrifying and heart-wrenching. Julie and Natalie are both present, pushing the matter and as their friend breaks down she is astonishingly childlike when she asks Julie if she’s still her friend. The scene is an acting master-class, with all four of the actresses putting in a performance to be proud of.

Programme Name: The Moorside - TX: 14/02/2017 - Episode: The Moorside Ep 2 (No. 2) - Picture Shows:  Julie Bushby (SHERIDAN SMITH) - (C) Stuart Wood/ITV - Photographer: Stuart Wood
The Moorside Ep 2 (No. 2) – Picture Shows: Julie Bushby (SHERIDAN SMITH) – (C) Stuart Wood/ITV – Photographer: Stuart Wood

Once the truth is out, the estate turns their back on Julie for having led the campaign and Karen back-tracks on her admission. However, in court, despite a previous heart to heart with her friend which led me to believe that Karen had lost Julie as a friend, it seems that she remained the only person on the wretched mother’s side. Although I see that Julie, having been abused herself, can empathise with the life that Karen has had, and they are both examples of ‘you are what’s happened to you’, I would love to ask her why she stuck by the convict.

Meaty drama, this certainly was, and a showcase for a number of superb actors who, I would wager were well out of their comfort zone. However, was it necessary to recreate the story? I’m not so sure. The general thread and theme seemed to revolve around Julie, though, so it felt as though that was the story that was being explored.

I have to hand it to Sheridan Smith, television is definitely her metier and she has the ability to take on a challenge, that much is clear.

The Moorside Part 1 ~ Episode Review

Recreating the story of the campaign to find missing Shannon Matthews was always going to be a controversial decision, but the BBC are nothing if not daring. So, this two-part drama explores the case, from disappearance to the horrifying conclusion which began to unfold at the end of the first episode.

Sheridan Smith as Julie Bushby, friend of Karen Matthews (played by an almost unrecognisable Gemma Whelan) was in the spotlight as the key person who led the campaign, rallied the neighbourhood and who’s determination to find the missing nine year old never waivered. It’s going to be interesting to watch the aftermath in next week’s final episode and to discover how Bushby dealt with the fact that she had put all her energy into finding a little girl who was the victim of an inside job. Smith is not a bad choice for the role, she puts in a performance de force with gusto. Faye McKeever was equally well cast as friend, Petra Jamieson, it showed a different side to her capabilities as an actress as she is so well known for Trollied. I was extremely impressed by her portrayal. Gemma Whelan was quite a revelation as Karen Matthews, she matched the facial expressions that, upon reflection, were quite prominent when the real-life convict made appearances all those years ago. Sian Brooke also put in a strong performance as best friend Natalie, who seems to be suspecting foul play from early on in the twenty four day search. Siobhan Finneran stole the show, though, so incredibly accurate as DC Christine Freeman. The drama thus far has been female dominated and that is exactly how the investigation appeared to roll on the various broadcasts in 2008.

Programme Name: The Moorside - TX: 07/02/2017 - Episode: The Moorside Ep 1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: The Moorside Julie Bushby (SHERIDAN SMITH) - (C) Stuart Wood/ITV - Photographer: Stuart Wood
The Moorside
Julie Bushby (SHERIDAN SMITH) – (C) Stuart Wood/ITV – Photographer: Stuart Wood

The roughness around the edges which surely should be a factor was not always evident. I question the accuracy of the peacefulness of the solidarity which ran as the over-riding theme, but there’s always room for interpretation, I suppose. I wouldn’t say that I was thrilled to be re-visiting such a horrendous story, but the dramatisation has me hooked and keenly anticipating the second part.

Overall verdict ~ Better than I expected, the casting is spot on and there is an element of sensitivity running through the programme which is only right. Although the story is one that I am familiar with and I remain acutely shocked by to this day, the second part will make for fascinating viewing too, I have no doubt.

Trollied Episode Seven, Series Six ~ Episode Review

A festive treat came in the form of the final episode of this series of Trollied, and it was an utter joy from start to finish. If I wasn’t feeling Christmassy already, I am now.

From the birth of a baby presided over by Dr Brian (Stephen Tompkinson) and viewed with disgust by Lisa (Beverley Rudd) and Colin (Carl Rice) while they each drink a can of lager and request a photograph of the ‘business end’. To the mutual wool pulling that Cheryl (Sarah Parish) and Gavin (Jason Watkins) are plotting against each other in a bid to surprise the other with a romantic proposal. To the fact that the store has run out of Baileys!!! How very dare they?

Is it the end for Neville (Dominic Coleman) and his relationship with Linda (Faye McKeever)?

The birth comes at a fortuitous moment for Dr Brian as he has been attempting to out-do his ‘rival’, the new Pharmacist. The safe delivery of the customer’s baby is what he sees as a triumph and he declares that he wants to leave his radio job behind him and return to Margaret’s (Rita May) side. Margaret is only too happy to ‘re-create’ the vacancy for Pharmacist as she cunningly mixes up the prescriptions of two customers which results in the new Pharmacist getting the boot. Naughty Margaret! At least we get the dream team back together again, though. Witnessing the birth of the unexpected arrival deters Colin and Lisa from making a baby of their own, for a start off, Lisa hadn’t realised it hurt when you gave birth…!

There’s also the continuation of the will they/won’t they plot between Katie (Chanel Cresswell) and Daniel (Samuel Anderson), I am happy to confirm that they do! Although I think it fair to say that we’ve all seen this coming from the beginning. The twists that have popped up along the way, not least the arrival of Holly (Georgia May Foote) in unwitting Daniel’s life, have all made it a fun and bumpy journey. However, as regular viewers will know, Valco founded relationships do not tend to go well for Katie, so should a series seven be on the horizon – I feel sure we won’t be treated to a happy ever after for this pair. Certainly not in the way that Mr Strong and Ms Fairweather’s romance has bloomed, anyway.

I loved that both Gavin and Cheryl wore the same outfit as one another to propose in, it also fitted brilliantly to have Cheryl propose to Gavin. She does wear the trousers, regardless of Gavin protestations and attempts to prove to the contrary. So, Sarah Parish might get her big while Valco wedding, yet! To have Neville (Dominic Coleman) spontaneously propose to Linda (Faye McKeever) only to be rejected as quickly as the proposal comes out of his mouth was quite hilarious. However, does this spell the end for them? Then there’s one more announcement to contend with, Lisa’s pregnant! She has been misreading the pregnancy tests and according to Sue’s (Lorraine Cheshire) calculations, is in fact four months pregnant. With so much to look forward to from the team at the supermarket we’ve all taken to our hearts, surely Sky One can provide us with more next year? Please!


Trollied Episode Six, Series Six ~ Episode Review

Gavin’s (Jason Watkins) healthy eating campaign has fallen decidedly flat and is affecting Valco’s sales figures, in the first of this week’s instalments. Cheryl (Sarah Parish)  doesn’t know how to tell him and Duncan (Rufus Hound) is still lurking around and being generally obnoxious, ready to pray on the fact that Gavin’s scheme has failed.

Colin (Carl Rice) is actually tired of sex, since he and Lisa (Beverley Rudd) started to try for a baby she has been wearing out the lazy butcher and he chooses Gavin to confide in, while Gavin is eating his breakfast… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. The other hilarious storyline featured this episode involves Neville (Dominic Coleman) and Linda (Faye McKeever), Neville is teaching Linda to drive, with disastrous consequences. Sue (Lorraine Cheshire) actually starts to side with Neville having been in his shoes before and put her life into Linda’s hands as she took the wheel. It shows an interesting dynamic to the relationship of Linda and Sue, it’s so unusual for Sue to be on Neville’s side, however when Sue’s car is pranged during another of Linda’s lessons – Neville gets the blame. Normal services resumes. We also got two fantastic one-liners from Sue, “bell end” and “knob end”, two simple phrases that absolutely creased me up, demonstrating how Cheshire’s comic timing brilliantly.

“and there’s your sausages” Valcos best Butchers, Colin (Carl Rice) and Neville (Dominic Coleman)

Meanwhile, Duncan is starting to spread vicious rumours that the store is set to close and jobs will be lost due to Gavin’s healthy eating debacle. We see Margaret (Rita May) worrying about cancelling a holiday that she has not insurance for and isn’t actually going on(!) and Colin showing more concern for the fact that Duncan has claimed that Gavin sits down to go for a wee! Plus what would become of Neville? He can’t go back to the RSPCA if he’s out of a job (it’s the YMCA but Margaret has a different take on it, as usual!).

As Cheryl considers signing on the dotted line to allow a new energy drink from Duncan’s company to be sold in store, the future looks bleak for Ms Fairweather and her Gaveroo…

All of the cast, including some of the newer additions all play their roles so brilliantly and naturally that I find myself forgetting about the actors behind them. Surely that is the mark of an all-round epic comedy series.


Trollied Episode Four, Series Six~ Episode Review

When one simple scene involving the word “boo” and hysterical laughter from two lovely ladies on Customer Services is a highlight in itself, you know that Trollied are still onto a winner. Lorraine Cheshire as Sue and Faye McKeever as Linda have yet to take centre stage in a storyline of their own, but their contribution to this laugh a minute comedy never fails to impress me. Coupled with Sue’s use of a rice cake as a drinks coaster, they were a force to be reckoned with, as ever.

This hilarious instalment also saw the return of Georgia-May Foote as Holly staking her claim on Daniel (Samuel Anderson) as she stuck close to Katie (Chanel Cresswell), it seems that Daniel’s new lady is not as air headed as it may have first appeared.  Her suspicions about Katie’s interest in her beau are raised when Katie pretends that Colin (Carl Rice) is her boyfriend and that his name is also Daniel. Lisa (Beverley Rudd) and Colin are having enormous fun winding up the situation, although Lisa does experience a fleeting moment of jealousy, this is quickly overcome when Colin assures of his devotion. The fact that he is so devoted to her due to her dirty antics is typical of this pair.

Meanwhile, Gavin is still promoting his healthy eating ‘scheme’ and Shai (Nikhil Parmar) is helping him by placing footprints on the shop floor. Small foot prints, by all accounts, the template of which is from Gavin’s (Jason Watkins) foot! Much teasing ensues, including Margaret (Rita May) singing “The Wizard Of Oz” despite having claimed that it wasn’t the film she was bringing to mind when she mentioned the yellow brick road. Nobody can carry that madcap ditzy character off quite like Rita can, Margaret is the lynchpin of the show, in my opinion.

Rita May as Margaret

The challenge between Duncan (Rufus Hound) and Gavin also made for epic viewing, kudos to the pair of them for the sit-ups accompanied by dialogue!

My only disappointment with this week’s instalment was the noticeable lack of Dominic Coleman, Stephen Tompkinson and Sarah Parish, they play three of my favourite characters. However, I do comprehend that there is a degree of realism in that they wouldn’t all be in at the same time for the same shift at all times.

Overall verdict? Still the funniest programme on telly at the moment and this series in particular is such a treat, I am ever hopeful for series seven!

Trollied Episode Three, Series Six ~ Episode Review

It’s health eating initiative time, and Gavin (Jason Watkins) or should that be Gaveroo… has been putting his hexagon together to explain his theories to the staff and ultimately, the customers. Unfortunately for the hapless Store Manager, the staff have no comprehension of what he is blithering on about and his girlfriend (and boss) Cheryl (Sarah Parish) is trying her best to be supportive in spite of herself. The friction and competition between the two is the sticking point in their relationship, but the goofy edge that the two characters have and the obvious love between them always wins through. Much as the beauty of Trollied is that it’s set in the one location, I really feel the need to see Gavin and Cheryl at their jazz tap class and Gaveroo in his leg warmers. Anyone else with me? No…..?

Gavin (Jason Watkins) and Cheryl (Sarah Parish) are at loggerheads

Meanwhile, Daniel (Samuel Anderson) receives an unexpected revelation from Lisa (Beverley Rudd) when she rocks up late and pukes in the fruit peel bin. The reason being a hangover? No! Morning sickness! Does Colin (Carl Rice) know? No! So Daniel fills him in and Neville (Dominic Coleman) offers advice, for which he is charged a fiver. Well, this is Colin after all, the man literally takes Neville’s lunch money and the mild mannered ‘butcher’ decides to have a crack at a veggie burger that they’ve been serving up to customers. Except they’re not veggie burgers because Colin didn’t replenish the stock and has reverted to meat. The chemistry between Colin and Neville is one of my favourite aspects of the show. They’re a completely dysfunctional double act and the two actors are doing an incredible job of making these characters real. When Neville shoulders the blame and tells Colin that he is not going back to the YMCA and that it doesn’t resemble the song, I thought that was a genius line and who better to deliver it than Coleman? Oh, and Lisa’s not really pregnant… although now, she might be…

Over at Customer Services, Sue (Lorraine Cheshire) and Linda (Faye McKeever) are busy. Well, busy playing a mind reading game, Sue is predicting every sentence that comes out of Linda’s mouth, correctly! A great aside as usual and yet another brilliant double act in Valco.

Margaret (Rita May) is in charge of health checks as part of Gavin’s healthy eating promotion, she’s in charge of BMX’s, no make that BMI’s. Brian (Stephen Tompkinson) had been waiting on a diseased heart from the morgue to be biked over, but given Gavin’s disapproval, he opts for a pig’s heart instead. Still not really what was required and certainly not a customer drawing exercise. Oh, Brian!

Trollied, you are nailing it! More, more, more, please!!



Trollied Episode Two, Series Six ~ Episode Review

The second episode of the new series of Trollied got off to as flying a start as the first one, there is such a feeling of unity among this cast and they’re all on it when it comes to their roles. Almost as though playing these hilarious characters is second nature to them.

In this instalment, Cheryl (Sarah Parish) and Gavin (Jason Watkins) are still incredibly lovey dovey and very silly, what a great pairing they are – Watkins and Parish are a fantastic double act. They were also quite a force when it came to the Managers’ meeting and Cheryl, as Area Manager, was seemingly against Gavin’s health food ideas. It was a plan they’d cooked up between them and it worked, these are characters that I want to see triumph, so I was rather pleased that the garden path Cheryl had led her Managers up was all a ploy. Valco’s couple are a great strength of the show and long may all of them continue.

Speaking of love, Linda (Faye McKeever) pushes her boyfriend, Neville (Dominic Coleman) forward to take over as Store Manager during the absence of Gavin and Katie (Chanel Cresswell). Katie is horrified at this suggestion, but goes along with it, reluctantly! The new recruit is also handed over to Neville’s care, which also has hilarious consequences. The observational quality of the script is superb, especially when both Sue (Lorraine Cheshire) and Linda both decline Katie’s offer of the Valco reigns, how many work colleagues do we all know who would react the same way they did?

Another day at Valco for Lisa!

Unsurprisingly, Neville’s temporary stint as Store Manager results in an automatic door crisis which sees Neville stuck, Ian (Victor Maguire) denying all knowledge and the new recruit offering to go to Morrisons! Not to mention that Lisa’s (Beverley Rudd) playing Neville’s ‘promotion’ to her own advantage and taking great delight in moving from till to till as well as winding up a school teacher in the process. Lisa is one of my favourite characters, she’s bawdy and doesn’t care, but she represents quite a number of people I’ve encountered in the past!

 Meanwhile, back onto the theme of love, there’s a love triangle developing between Daniel (Samuel Anderson), Katie and Holly (Georgia May Foote). I thought that Holly was a great addition to the cast, ditzy, giggly and you kinda wondered how on earth she was in the job of Store Manager. She’s unwittingly stirred things up with Katie in regards to Daniel, so I’m expecting a green eyed monster situation.

Overall, another laugh-a-minute episode that in my opinion, BAFTA need to have on their radar!

Photo Credits: Sky TV

Trollied Episode One, Series Six ~ Episode Review

Trollied is back with series six and it’s better than ever. Any comedy that starts with Sarah Parish and Jason Watkins being utterly childish gets off to a good start, in my book. Gavin (Jason Watkins) is still Store Manager of Valco and Cheryl (Sarah Parish) works for the ‘enemy’, Lauder. Their relationship looks like it’s rather cosy and they’re sorry that Cheryl’s job means that they don’t see much of one another. I love this pairing, Watkins and Parish work brilliantly together in W1A, and the chemistry continues in Trollied.

Sarah Parish and Jason Watkins

Meanwhile, Colin (Carl Rice) and Lisa (Beverley Rudd) are still loved up and still a couple of wrong ‘uns! Colin is feeding ham to his long term girlfriend when Neville (Dominic Coleman) arrives, unwittingly walking into another of Colin’s traps having already been told where to go by his girlfriend, Linda (Faye McKeever) and Sue (Lorraine Cheshire). Poor Neville always ends up coming a cropper, yet he still has Linda’s heart, what’s that all about? It works though, doesn’t it!

Katie (Chanel Cresswell) is still high powered, or as high powered as you can be at Valco and enduring a continuation of the will they/won’t they situation with Daniel (Samuel Anderson). Ian (Victor McGuire) is still on Security duties, but not particularly alert, as usual. Then there’s the funniest duo ever, in my opinion, Brian (Stephen Tompkinson) and Margaret (Rita May) – Margaret’s been having a go at a wad of what she thinks are, free scratch cards because they looked like a bit of fun! Brian’s method of helping her out of the sticky situation she finds herself in is both hilarious and sweet in equal measure.

Samuel Anderson

The biggest news of this episode is that Cheryl has been offered the Area Manager job for Valco, and it doesn’t take Gavin long to consider to agreeing that she should take it. Although how a woman who does a U-turn on the motorway is material for Area Manager is anyone’s guess! I predict more fun, frolics and perhaps those Valco wedding bells that Sarah Parish revealed to me that she wanted?

Also, Rufus Hound! Absolute comedy gold as the new Sales Rep who gets right up Sue’s (Lorraine Cheshire) nose “Gavin, there’s a moron here to see you”. Valco is back, it’s as good as ever, if not better and I can’t wait for the next instalment. It serves me right!

Photo credits: Sky TV

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