Storm Damage

BBCZ, Sun 23 Jan, IOpm.

Adrian Lester’s appearance in Primary Colors alongSrde John Travolta and Emma Thompson prompted cues of ’hot new talent’. Hrs appearance rn Storm Damage rs somethrng of a labour of love for the actor and hrs frrend and screenwriter Lennie James (Undercover Heart, Cold Feet).

’I hadn’t heard that krnd of dralogue Srnce I left the Brrmrngham councrl estate I was brought up on,’ says Lester. ’And especially not on televrsron. I thought: "thrs has got to be done, mate”. All of my responsrbrlrty as an actor - wrthout soundrng too wanky and all of my respect for Lennre went rnto thrs prolectf

Lester’s character in thrs powerful drama rs Danny, an rnner Crty London school teacher whose confrontation wrth a knrfe-wreldrng teenager prompts hrm to qurt hrs JOb and become a care worker rn a home for

Winds of change: Storm Damage

Danny and hrs w0uId-be attacker, Stefan (Ashley Walters), come from the same home, the very room Stefan now lrves rn was Danny’s years before. And Danny sees much of hrs youthful self rn Stefan.

However, hrs attempts to break through Stefan’s hostrle exterror are marred by personal demons Danny has yet to conquer. ’These krds don’t have any worth to anyone but themselves, and even that they doubt,’ exolarns Lester. ’So what you get from them rs a mrxture of attrtude and drsrespect, whrch rs a very insecure way of trying to bump up your own status.’

The rnevrtable questron rs whether Storm Damage reaches rts target crowd. ’The audrence that rs connected to the characters In the frlm may not catch rt unless rt’s advertrsed rn the rrght places,’ suggests Lester. ’It won’t teach that audrence anythrng, rt'll Just show them what they already know. But, hopefully, it’ll teach a cross-sectron of the Brrtrsh public somethrng, because that rs a world they don’t know.’ (Mrles Frelder)

REVIEW The Wilsons

Channel 4, Sun I6 Jan at r

After the late 90s cocnedrc T‘/ innovatrOns Such as the Crnematrc League Of Gent/emen, the pop Culture-frrendly Spaced and tne docu- com of The ROy/e Family, we may be re-enterrng the realm of the tradrtronal srtcom Unfortunately, The Wi/sons' Idea of tradrtIOnal rs mOre In the yelp of Duty Free and Butterflies than Rising Damp and Porridge

Set wrthrn a dysfunctronal sOuth


Family devalues: The Wilsons

London famrly's shambolrc home, The Wilsons trots out a broad stock of archetypes; the drt2y slaggrsh teenager, the se:f—su:’frcrent last-born and the IncapacItated, Incapable dad Whrcn would a:: be fine rf the scrrpt .vas rammed

Wrth qualrty gags It Isn't

The closest the funnybone came to berng scraped was rn the yOungest’s observatron that, rather than carryrng her drunk father to bed, she should be mrrrorrng her peers by spendrng trme WIth her head down the t0rlet The vrewer

can only sympathrse (Brran DOnaIdsonI


Murder: Crimes Of Passron Scottish, Mon 24 Jan, IOpm. Love hurts, but not as much as berng beaten to death wrth a hammer Thrs was the grrsly fate of the unfortunate man who embarked on an affarr wrth the wrfe of ’Graham Jones'. 'Jones' was sentenced to a mere four and a half years rn prrson when the Jury decrded rt was a 'crrme of passron’ Meanwhrle, Jason was furrous when hrs ere Sam began seerng another

One wedding and a funeral: Crimes Of Passion

drffrcult krds. Comcrdentally, both man. Havrng crept rnto the spare room where she was sleeprng and chokrng her to death wrth therr chrld’s skrpprng rope, he later phoned polrce to say he had found the body hangrng rn the garden shed

These and other storres make up thrs documentary examrnrng why ordrnary people turn to crrme when love goes wrong Although rt ultrmately farls to

answer that questron and rs presented rn an overly dramatrc fashron, rt's well


chronicles the key rncrdents. Hrs task rs aided by the Irkes of Roy Hattersley.

Channel 4, Sat 22 & 29 Jan, 7pm.

The body politic: Christine Keeler in Sleaze Corruptron, decert and debauchery. It’s a sad state of affarrs when a generrc term can be coined to encompass all these questionable actrvrtres rn which some of our hallowed leaders are prone to rndulge. However, as a result of some polrtrcians’ tendency to 3 rnterpret the Commons’ rules Just a tad too lrberally, the term ’sleaze’ came rnto berng during the Major administration.

In this timely serres devoted to the drrty dorngs of our elected representatives Anthony Howard, polrtrcal commentator and former editor of the New Statesman,

Andrew Nerl and Norman Tebbrt. In addrtron to some lesser-known scandals there are the landmark moments such as the Chrrstrne Keeler/John Profumo affarr and the recent Hamrlton/Al Fayed cash for questions farrago.

The frrst of the two programmes deals Wrth the frnancral shenanrgans of polrticrans from World War II to the present day. It begrns wrth the sorry tale of John Belcher, a Junlor mrnrster rn Clement Atlee’s government whose sparkling career ground to a halt due to his dealrngs with a shady busrnessman by the name of Srdney Stanley.

The drfference between way back when and modern times becomes apparent when Barbara Castle reveals her qualms about acceptrng the grft of a harrbrush. Thrs seems Quarnt these days when the receipt of envelopes containrng gargantuan amounts of cash rn return for parliamentary favours are seen by some as a perk of the jOb.

Although a lrttle dry rn parts, thrs rs a thorough, non-partrsan examrnatron of rmmoralrty rn the polrtical sphere. Humour rnJectrons come rn seerng the now shamed, not-qurte-so-honourable members makrng utter prats of themselves; perfect rllustratrons of prrde coming before a fall. As Howard so rightly says: ’The truth rs that MP5 have never been simple men and are Just as prone to human weakness as the rest of us.’ (Dawn Kofre)

worth watchrng Just to see how barkrng these people are (Krrsty Knaggs)


The Creatives BBC2,Wed I9 Jan * it * it

Getting ahead: The Creatives

The frrst frurt of Jack Docherty's post-Channel S adventures rs a largely successful advertrsmg srtcom. Ben (Jack Docherty) and Robbre (Moray Hunter) are two late 30$ dreamers, Robbre rs panrckrng over hrs advance towards the sexual and career Junkyard, whrle Ben belreves he should be mad, bad and dangerous to know, but

really hasn’t got the bottle

Serres two focuses on the offrce team as a whole wrth the boss, Charlie (Roger Allam) and accounts drrector, Lauren (Prppa Guard) enterrng even more rnto the fray. In the second eprsode, Ben was forced to re-rgnrte an old sado-masochrstrc love affarr rn order to rescue a potentially JOb threatenrng letter.

The power balance between Docherty’s bolshy domrnator to Hunter’s nervous procrastrnator rs now a brt more even, and the comedy rs more restrarned and better for It An ad agency may seem Irke an easy target but strck wrth rt and your patrence shall be rewarded (Mark Robertson)

20 Jan—3 Feb 2000 THE lIST 93