Auf Wiedersehen, Pet star Timothy Spall heads the cast of The Syndicate, a brand new five-part BBC One drama written by Kay Mellor.
Spall will star alongside Gavin And Stacey actress Joanna Page in the story of five workers at a cut-price supermarket whose lives are turned upside down after they win the lottery.
The win takes them from facing redundancy and battling the present economic downturn to having more money than they ever dreamt of.
Spall plays supermarket manager Bob, whose newfound wealth cannot mask his persistent health problems while Page plays single mother Leanne, who although welcomes her financial freedom, is worried about the consequences that the win will bring.
They are joined by their supermarket colleagues – dog-loving Denise, played by Lorraine Bruce (Daziel And Pascoe, Benidorm), and brothers Stuart, played by Matthew McNulty (Five Days, Lark Rise To Candleford, Single Handed), and Jamie played by Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter).
Mellor’s past credits include: Band Of Gold, Playing The Field, Fat Friends, The Chase and A Passionate Woman.
Speaking about The Syndicate Kay says: “I was inspired to write it after a friend of mine was told she was losing her job. With a mortgage to pay and outstanding debts her only hope was to win the lottery.
“It made me think how many people were thinking the same. As cuts hit hard we’re left with only a dream of six numbered balls deciding our fate – what strange times we are living in! Its both funny and tragic; a perfect recipe for great drama.”
The drama has been commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One and Ben Stephenson, Controller Drama Commissioning.
Stephenson says: “Kay Mellor effortlessly creates such wonderfully rich characters and the fine cast will bring that warmth and heart to the screen. The Syndicate taps into a universal dream about the life changing impact of winning the lottery that will touch everyone.”