Express tickets to comedy Gold
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.
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.