Ex­press tick­ets to com­edy Gold

The People - - LIFESTYLE -

THINK Mid­somer Mur­ders meets Coach Trip with a dol­lop of Mur­der Most Hor­rid and you have Gold’s orig­i­nal com­edy drama Mur­der On The Black­pool Ex­press. The cast was a Who’s Who of our act­ing elite in­clud­ing Nigel Havers, Una Stubbs and Griff Rhys Jones plus Car Share’s Sian Gib­son as tour guide Gemma and Johnny Ve­gas as Terry the long­suf­fer­ing driver of Drap­ers Coach Tours. When they pick up a group of mur­der mystery fans anx­ious to meet their favourite au­thor and visit the lo­ca­tions of his books, the stage is set for some fatal fun. By the time the pas­sen­gers reach their first stop, a cathe­dral, death is al­ready stalk­ing the group. As the group re­live events from best­seller I Just Died In Your Psalms Tonight, GILLIAN Tayl­forth re­minded us ex­actly why she’s a na­tional trea­sure in Mon­day’s episode of EastEn­ders. It brought her char­ac­ter Kathy Beale face to face with James Will­mott-Brown, the man who had raped her 30 years ago. When the vil­lain ca­su­ally strolled into the cafe and back into Kathy’s life I was on the edge of my seat. Re­veal­ing he was ter­mi­nally ill and claim­ing to be seek­ing clo­sure, he was just as sin­is­ter as golden girl Marg wan­ders off and is found in the clois­ters as­phyx­i­ated by a Corona­tion Chicken bap. So far, so Carry On Killing.

Griff’s flam­boy­ant au­thor David Van Der Clane re­mains un­per­turbed. “My mur­der mystery tours are so good there are ac­tual mur­ders,” he tells the fans while ush­er­ing them back on the bus.

Turns out Drap­ers Tours is go­ing bust and can’t af­ford to re­fund the cus­tomers so it’s off to stop two – the ravine.

Bril­liant

It’s there that wheel­chair- bound Moira, played by Nina Wa­dia, pitches off a view­ing gallery with pre­dictable con­se­quences.

By the time they ar­rive for an overnight stay in a coun­try house ho­tel the list of fa­tal­i­ties is climb­ing. “We’re los­ing pas­sen­gers faster than the Ti­tanic,” be­moans Terry.

After the ho­tel hosts a mur­der mystery he was all those yearsyears back. What Will­mott-Brown,rown, played to per­fec­tionon by Wil­liam Boyde,yde, re­ally wanted wasas to ease his con­scien­cence by try­ing to con­vince on­vince his vic­tim she’d he’d been in thee wrong. An en­ragedd Kathy let him haveve it with both bar­rels. “I fancy dress party, au­thor David sur­vives be­ing blud­geoned on the pa­tio.

Blood-soaked and baf­fled, he tells Gemma: “The pa­parazzi will have a field day if they see me like this.”

To which she replies, dead­pan: “We’re in York­shire, David. Peo­ple round here think pa­parazzi is a pizza top­ping!”

The cul­mi­na­tion of events is the fi­nal stop of the tour at Black­pool’s fa­mous Tower Ball­room.

By now the sus­pi­cion of guilt has shifted from Terry to David, but the killer is some­one even less likely. You know what they say, it’s al­ways the quiet ones.

This was a gen­tle, funny, old s c hool c om­edy with s olid per­for­mances from some bril­liant char­ac­ter ac­tors. Good on Gold for bring­ing us some orig­i­nal con­tent in a sea of re­peats and re­al­ity shows.

More please. I’m definitely us­ing my re­turn ticket. had to sit through your ver­sion of whatwha you did, day after day in court, but I never heard the truth.” Think­ing back to the night of the at­tack she re­calle­dreca him open­ing a bot­tle of cham­pagne. cham “Was that to toast your­self? I’ve got her just where I want her?” Will­mott-Brown re­mained obliv­i­ous to her suf­fer­ing. “I’ve tried of­fer­ing resolution at a dif­fi­cult time for me but you’ve thrown it back in my face,” he whined. “How about be­ing sorry for what you did,” was her blunt re­sponse. While the word “rape” was not ut­tered once, the im­pact of the crime hung like a dead weight over the episode. This was a mas­ter­class in pow­er­ful, dig­ni­fied prime time drama. Gillian’s un­der­stated per­for­mance proved what a huge tal­ent she is and that EE needs more scripts like this to re­join telly’s A-list.

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