CHANNEL 4 seasonal programme launches are always a mix of the weird and the wonderful. Today’s autumn offering was no different.
Remotes at the ready for shows like Breaking Up With The Joneses, The Great British Fat March, House of Agoraphobics, The Madness of Boy George and Supernanny: Beyond The Naughty Step.
There must be a whole department at C4’s metal and glass HQ devoted to thinking these titles up. And then we come to new Cheshire drama Goldplated. Note, that’s not Gold Plated. I’m sure there’s a good reason for it.
I first wrote about the eight-part series in February. Back then the plan was to portray the lifestyles of Cheshire’s rich set, including millionaire Premiership footballers.
Still filming in and around the county, Goldplated is made by World Productions, the company behind This Life, The Cops and No Angels, and is due on screen in October.
C4 bosses at today’s seasonal launch trailed the series as “set amid the rural enclaves of Cheshire where SUVs line the streets, and tea and cricket have been replaced by champagne, Class A drugs and lunchtime plastic surgery”.
There’s more. “This comic family saga unravels in the heart of the ‘Cheshire Set’ – an exclusive club in which the only qualification for membership is immense wealth, or at least the appearance of it.
“John White (David Schofield) and his wife Beth (Barbara Marten) have dragged themselves up from their working-class roots. They’ve swapped their council terrace for an eight-bedroom mansion and they’re not going back now.
“When young blonde Cassidy (Kelly Harrison) turns John’s head and falls pregnant, the family construction business comes under threat, and all the money looks to be slipping away.
“John has a lifestyle to maintain, and three grown-up children to keep in the designer labels and flash cars that they’ve become accustomed to.
“First-born Darren (Darren Tighe) is struggling to meet his wife’s demands, while Justin (Nicholas Shaw) and Lauren (Jamie Winstone) have never worked a day in their lives and are not about to start.”
Jamie is the the daughter of TV and film tough guy Ray Winstone and was recently pictured in the MEN Diary filming scenes in Alderley Edge.
Channel 4 head of drama and film Tessa Ross hopes Goldplated will be a long-running returning series. She says: “It looks like Cheshire Footballers’ Wives but with grit, with truth, with the underbelly of where they’ve come from, with the possibility of new money actually being about having no money.”
One certain hit of the C4 autumn season is Jamie’s Return To School Dinners, on screen next month.
Last year Jamie Oliver’s campaign over the shameful state of school dinners led to a change in government policy.
A year on, he’s gone back to school to see what’s changed. And, of course, the scourge of the turkey twizzler is in for a bit of a shock.
Luckily, Jamie once again enlists irrepressible dinner lady Nora Sands in an effort to get his crusade back on track. Now there’s one woman very definitely worth her weight in gold.