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Winners are losers in life's lottery; Bevan on the box.


MONEY can't buy you happiness, at least that's what some people say.

Personally, I think that whoever came up with that adage didn't have the first clue about where to go shopping.

No sireee - because if I ever awake one morn to find a huge celestial golden forefinger pointing straight at me through the ether, along with the voice of Brian Blessed proclaiming, "It's YOU!" then I guarantee I'll be wearing the same massive grin until the undertakers finally arrive to put me in the ground.

And you, dear reader, would be sitting there right now yawning through a column written by someone else entirely.

Not for me the utter nonsense you hear blabbed by some overnight millionaires.

You know the ones I mean - the idiots who go, "Oh, I won't let the money change me - I'll still turn up to my job licking the toilet seats clean at Paddington train station for thruppence an hour come Monday morning."

Indeed, anyone who ever says anything even vaguely like that should immediately forfeit the cash and hand it over to somebody who knows how to enjoy themselves properly.

Jousting |McKellen and Jacobi are, vacuous than So what writer Kay Mellor's problem is exactly I don't know.

We're now on the third series of her hit drama The Syndicate (BBC1) and each time it turns out exactly the same - there's a longed-for windfall of filthy lucre and everyone concerned finds their world going to hell in a hand cart.

Marriages break up, lives collapse and moral compasses go skew-whiff at the slightest sniff of a suitcase filled with wodge.

But why exactly? The way I see it is this - if you suddenly find yourself becoming a rampaging swine the minute your bank account gets bumped up to six figures then, chances are, you were probably a bit that way in the first place.

It's just that you never had the budget to express it fully.

That no one was yet dead, in a coma or banged up in jail by the end of last week's episode one suggests that Mellor's current crop of characters - the put-upon staff at a Yorkshire stately home - are probably a lot more decent than the motley bunch who made up series one and two.

That said, insulindependent, wannabe model Amy did go missing just prior to the winning balls dropping and the end credits rolling, so the laws of BBC drama averages dictate that she's probably more likely to end up a tragic headline in the local paper than the cover star of the summer edition of Vogue.

Let's hope Lenny Henry's handyman-with-Asperger's doesn't come a cropper though - firstly because he seemed a genuinely sweet soul and, secondly, because it was nice to see the Brummie comic on telly doing something other than lolling in a Premier Inn kingsize-bed or shouting, "Katanga, my friends" while wearing a Comic Relief red nose.

knights: Ian Derek sadly, more Vicious I HAD hoped the second series of Vicious (ITV) would have been an improvement on the first.

After all, who couldn't love watching Dames Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi camp it up as two ageing gay actors, their best years long behind them, reduced to flouncing and bickering around their Anaglyptaswathed tomb of a Soho flat? Sadly, like its diva-ish lead characters, the jokes had aged even less well this time around.

Crass, obvious and bereft of life, the dialogue had more a whiff of carrion than Carry On.


| Jousting knights: Ian |McKellen and Derek Jacobi are, sadly, more vacuous than Vicious
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 7, 2015
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