Season Regulars 15
James 'Jim' Calvert
James 'Mack' Mackintosh
Franny is one of those people who cannot admit defeat. Whatever he's up against, he'll keep going, until it breaks him in two. And if he decides that a course of action is right, then he pursues it, no turning aside, no consultation. No matter what the cost.
He's a cook in the Mackintosh canteen. Nice enough bloke, good at his job but something of an unknown quantity. Franny doesn't let people in, not even his wife Imogen (Jane Slavin). They are trying to conceive a baby, but he won't talk about it. He just repeats his mantra that everything will work out in the end.
Then his troubled sister, Terri (Clare Kerrigan) commits suicide. Distraught, Franny discovers that she has had a child, now in foster care. Franny tracks down the father, an arrogant young copper called Jason Woods (Marc Warren). When he doesn't seem interested, Franny decides to try to adopt the child himself. Imogen is taken aback by the lack of discussion, but she wants a child too - maybe this is the only way. But wheRead More
Tasha (Katie Blake) is a textile design student, doing work experience at Mackintosh. She's a posh girl from a leafy suburb and she doesn't fit in. She desperately wants to but she comes from another world. Mack (Philip Glenister) is feeling his age. Living alone in his suburban family house, his dissatisfaction with life is growing. This is not what he wants, surrounded by housewives driving 4 by 4s, spending his weekends at elderly neighbour's barbecues. There's got to be something more.
Tasha is thrilled when the girls invite her to the pub. Everyone is drinking up and having a good time, when she offers some coke around. They're not shocked, but it highlights the differences - they don't live the life where people can afford to snort coke. Just another thing that marks her out. Mack comes to the pub to get the keys to his filing cabinet but unusually he ends up staying. Normally, he avoids uncomfortable, social situations with his workers but he definitely has things in common withRead More
Sometimes the reality of who people are is so terrifying, even to themselves, that it must remain hidden. Mark Talbot (James Murray) is one of these people. Someone with darkness in his past and in himself, a darkness from which he cannot escape, however much he wishes that he could. He seems like a nice enough lad, excitedly getting ready for his first day at Mackintosh. He's fit, clean, nice to his Mum - ex-army, Parachute Regiment no less, if his tattoo is anything to go by. He approaches his new workmates with confidence, he's charming, friendly and obviously one for the ladies, as his instant rapport with resident babe Hannah Phillips (Katisha Kenyon) demonstrates. The other blokes can't believe how quickly he's in there!
However, after his first day at work, Mark is picked up by the police. He's obviously known to them and they are giving him some kind of warning now he's back in the area. But what has he been in trouble for? And why would the police be checking up on him if he'sRead More
Julie (Siobhan Finneran) is a Mackintosh old hand. She's a strange girl really - mid thirties, lives at home with her parents, popular, kind and generous but not truly close to anyone. As for a love life: non-existent. She feels a vague emptiness inside, but nothing she's ever dealt with. Life just goes on, day by day, same old thing. Its not as if she's actually unhappy.
Then her brother, Robert (Phil Cornwell), the big success of the family, comes over for a visit from his home in Hong Kong. Julie is over the moon because although he's a bit of a bolshie bloke, she adores him. He's done well - successful job, happy marriage, two beautiful girls. And out of the blue, he offers Julie some of his good fortune: why doesn't she come out to Hong Kong too - they'd be together, she'd see more of her nieces, earn loads of money, make a new start. Back in the bedroom she's had since she was a kid, Julie realises how small her world is. Hong Kong looks tempting - frightening but tempting. CouldRead More
Jenny (Sophie Okonedo) has a pretty good life. She drives a forklift at Mackintosh alongside her best mate, Suzie (Nicola Stephenson), so work is a real laugh. Their eight-year-old sons, Tom and Ryan, go to school together. And best of all, Jenny is marrying Suzie's brother Sam (Nicholas Sidi), who she loves big time. Perfect. Except Jenny has created this life, like a house of cards. It is a fiction, based on lies, and all it needs is for one card to get knocked out of place, and the whole thing falls...
It's the day after Jenny's hen night. Nursing a whopping hangover, she's not feeling much like fork lifting, but she's still happy as anything. Until she glances at one of the heating contractors (Sean Gallagher), working on Mackintosh's cooling system. There's a jolt of recognition and her face contorts. Whoever he is, this man has put the fear of god into her. Nauseous, she runs to the toilets, but not before he has clocked her too. Jenny tries to carry on as normal, avoiding him. BRead More
Alan (Bob Pugh) is always the life and soul of the party. In his mid-forties, he's not quite one of the lads anymore but still sees life as a giggle. He has a wonderfully happy marriage to Sally (Lorriane Ashbourne), who although she's the much quieter, more sensible half of the partnership, watches all his shenanigans with fond amusement. They have two teenage sons, the oldest of whom Chris (Ciaran Griffiths) is about to go off to university, a cause of enormous pride for them both.
For Sally's fortieth, Alan throws a big do, inviting all the lads from Mackintosh. It's a night to remember - everyone drinking, dancing, having a wail of a time. You can tell that Sally would rather have had a quiet evening with Alan, that the party's more for him than her, but she enjoys herself none the less. When the evening's in full swing, Alan makes a little speech and tells Sally about her present - in front of everyone, he announces he's going to have a vasectomy so she doesn't have to take the piRead More
Gary (Marshall Lancaster), works in the off cuts department at Mackintosh, and has a beautiful, expensive home, full of costly antiques and erudite scientific tomes, everything just so. The only thing that doesn't fit is him. The problem is he's had a letter from a solicitor, informing him that he had been left a house and a substantial amount of money. In his father's will. All well and good, except that the only father Gary had ever known was still alive. Both Gary and his brother Stephen (Lee Ingleby) were adopted, only their adoptive parents never got round to telling them. A bit of a shock. Especially for Stephen who got the news without the financial bonus.
Suddenly strange things start happening - Gary finds a piece of paper with versions of his signature on it, although no credit cards or cheque books have been stolen; then he comes home after a day at work to find the kettle warm as if it had just been used; or there's a beer bottle top on the floor which he didn't leave thereRead More
Mack has never exactly been a bundle of laughs but over the last few months, his bitter disappointment with life has been increasing, day-by-day. Is the factory with its big pressures and small triumphs, all there is? As crisis point looms, Mack needs to carve himself a future that makes him happy. On the surface, things seem surprisingly good. Mackintosh is on the brink of the most lucrative deal ever and despite his disillusion, Mack is still a sucker for the pull of success, big money. He's also got a nice looking woman on his arm, Miranda (Katie Carmichael). She's a posh girl, bit of a bitch but classy. Makes him feel good. She's too quick to hear wedding bells, but that can always be dealt with later.
Then Eddie (Craig Kelly) turns up, Mack's good-for-not-very-much brother. Eddie was the one with the brains, the brilliant future, all of which he wasted. He's become a drifter, full of vaguely formed plans, none of which come to fruition. Whilst Eddie has always envied the fact thatRead More
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