Anthony Andrews, Lenny Henry and Waterloo Road’s Elizabeth Berrington are to star in the third series of Kay Mellor’s lottery drama, The Syndicate.
Featuring an all new cast of characters, the series is set in and around the crumbling Hazelwood Manor, home to the ailing Lord Hazelwood (Andrews), his wife (Alice Krige), and playboy stepson Spencer (Sam Phillips).
The estate has fallen into disrepair but this hasn’t stopped Lady Hazelwood trying to maintain the lifestyle she’s become accustomed to or Spencer from wasting his inheritance as quickly as possible.
Downstairs the remaining five staff are having to work harder than ever after cut backs forced the sackings of many of their colleagues.
Housekeeper Sarah (Cara Theobold), cleaner Dawn (Elizabeth Berrington), cook Julie (Melanie Hill), groomsman/odd-job man Sean (Richard Rankin) and gardener Godfrey (Lenny Henry) are all that’s left of the house’s domestic contingent.
Godfrey – a high functioning person with Asperger’s syndrome – formed the lottery syndicate with his colleagues years ago as he was convinced he could work out how to win it mathematically.
He gives cleaner Dawn a list of this week’s ‘winning lottery numbers’ according to his statistics.
A series of mishaps ensues and all seems lost – but then it hits them: seemingly against all the odds, they have won £14 million! Everyone is ecstatic.
Dawn, pregnant with an unplanned third child, can’t wait to tell her husband Andy (Kieran O’Brien), son Noah and beautiful daughter Amy (Daisy Head) who is reluctantly helping her out at Hazelwood Manor but has ambitions to become the next Cara Delevingne.
And then, on the night of the win, Amy suddenly goes missing…
As viewers relish the joy of the syndicate’s journey from downstairs to upstairs, they’ll see the search for Amy become increasingly urgent as it uncovers clues and raises myriad suspicions..
Executive producer Polly Hill, Head of Independent Drama for the BBC, comments: “Kay’s brilliantly crafted characters and script, combined with a fresh and exciting cast, will ensure our new series is packed full of gripping stories that our BBC One audience has come to expect from The Syndicate.”
Kay Mellor says: “The Syndicate 3 is a completely new series, with a fresh new world and brand-new characters, the staff of a crumbling stately home: the Cook, House Manager, Gardener, Cleaner and Game Keeper. It’s about new money – ordinary people who win a life-changing amount of money on the lottery.
“I was excited by the idea of setting the syndicate winners amongst the old money of a crumbling stately home, where Lord and Lady Hazelwood’s inherited money is fast running out. It’s a delicious premise which enables me to look at class and social politics within the framework of a drama – ‘downstairs’ becoming instantly wealthier than ‘upstairs’.
“I’m able to explore how the lack of money and greed have a devastating effect and how a sudden change in fortune can bring about its own problems.”