TV Review: White Gold, BBC2

Did you catch the first episode of the new series of White Gold on Wednesday night? No? Me neither. The series about 1980s double glazing salespeople seemed to slip out rather discreetly. There may have been lots of trailers but the only advance publicity I saw on TV was James Buckley, who plays Fitzpatrick, and new cast member Rachel Shenton, who plays thrusting high achiever Jo Scott, on C4's Sunday Brunch.

I did try to watch the first episode on the BBC's advance previews website when I heard about it, but I didn't receive a reply to a voicemail request for it from the PR and the email contact address for the PR I was given by the BBC bounced back. You'd almost think they didn't want much coverage. And putting it out during a period when Fleabag and Alan Partridge were hogging the comedy column inches it was a pretty crowded BBC marketplace. The only newspaper review that comes up via Google is the one in the Telegraph.

Anyway, there are some changes this time round for the series written by Damon Beesley. It's 1985 and a Goodfellas-ish recap tells us that Vincent Swan (Ed Westwick) is now running Cachet Double Glazing. His old boss Walshy (Nigel Lindsay) has set up a new firm of his own, W Windows, teeing us up for a decent bit of ruthless Tin Men-style rivalry.

And if there is one thing that flashy Vince is good at it's ruthlessness. He has recently sold a pricey new conservatory to his neighbours but is having difficulty getting it constructed when his builder quits, so he hires probably the least qualified person for the job and has to smoothtalk his way out of trouble when the doors won't open, the windows leak and the job generally goes pear-shaped.

Elsewhere Fitzpatrick (James Buckley) is having to cope with the single life after his wife goes off with the (female) aerobics instructor. Or rather stays in with the instructor. He knows they spend a lot of time in as he has a penchant for spying on them from the shed (cue the sound of him zipping up his flies - or maybe zipping down, you don't actually see anything).

If you have your own penchant for dodgy eighties fashion, facial hair and sleazy salespeople White Gold might be up your street. It could, however, do with a little more warmth and maybe more in the way of charm and sympathetic characters. Maybe they all turn out to be nice and lovely later on in the seiries. You can find out now if you want to as it's all on iPlayer already. Not that the PRs told me that, I spotted it for myself. 

White Gold, BBC2, Wednesdays, 10pm.

Picture of Joe Thomas as Lavender. BBC/©Fudge Park


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