AFTER years of glory with their beloved Manchester United, the footballing friends known as the Class of ’92 decided their next challenge would be to buy and run a club.
And that’s not just any club, I mean the non-league Salford City FC, just down the road from Old Trafford.
We first saw the group, Ryan Giggs, Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, when they first took charge in a two-part documentary last year.
And now, after a successful first season where the club won promotion, we’re back to see if they can continue to strike gold. However, if you’re tuning in to see the Class themselves, then you’ll be disappointed, as their total screen time adds up to no more than one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s post-match interviews. Instead, the show focuses on the people at the heart of the club, rather than the money men behind it.
Those who work on the turnstiles and behind the tea counter, who manage the players and clean the pitch, and who score the goals – or don’t, as is the case with their injured star striker.
The excitement builds behind the scenes as the team advances in the FA Cup and actually makes it on to Match of the Day on telly. While that might have been a weekly occurrence for the Class of ‘92 boys, it’s a life achievement for Salford City’s players, who all have full-time jobs as factory workers, ceiling fitters and lorry drivers.
It’s a fascinating and funny look at grassroots soccer – and a million footballing miles away from the Theatre of Dreams.
Channel 4, 10pm Imagine Come Dine With Me scripted by the funniest, darkest people you know, with a whole load of booze, bad language and even worse behaviour thrown in for good measure.
That’s the basic premise of this new comedy pilot.
And when you find out the brains behind it are Sharon Horgan and Dennis Kelly – who wrote the criminally underrated Pulling before she moved on to Catastrophe – it becomes clear this will be something special.
Gabe and Nat have left their happy old lives behind (we’re not entirely sure why) and moved to a new area. So they try to make friends by doing what’s expected and going round to the neighbours for dinner. Which, let’s face it, nobody ever really actually wants to do. Especially when their neighbours veer towards the psychopathic.
The cast is led by Adeel Akhtar, brilliant in both River and Utopia, plus Eva Birthistle, Victoria Hamilton, GoT’s Tobias Menzies, Nicola Walker and Desiree Akhavan.
This might just be a one-off for now, but if audiences have an appetite for it, here’s hoping Channel 4 will serve up a full series.
DEVILISH Class of ’92, and, inset, the Salford squad