Timothy Spall and Joanna Page to star in BBC drama The Syndicate

BBC OneThe BBC has revealed that Timothy Spall and Joanna Page are to star in Kay Mellor’s new drama The Syndicate; a five-part drama for BBC One about a group of supermarket workers who win the lottery.

Timothy Spall (The Kings Speech, Harry Potter, The Street) and Joanna Page (Gavin And Stacey, Love Actually) are to star in The Syndicate, a brand new five-part drama for BBC One written by Kay Mellor.  The Syndicate follows five workers at a cut-price supermarket in Leeds whose lives are turned upside down after they jointly win the lottery, going from facing redundancy and battling the present economic downturn to having more money than they ever dreamt of.

Timothy Spall plays supermarket manager Bob, whose newfound wealth cannot mask his persistent health problems. Joanna Page plays single mother Leanne, who although welcomes her financial freedom, is worried about the consequences that the win will bring.  They are joined by their supermarket colleagues – dog-loving Denise, played by Lorraine Bruce (Daziel And Pascoe, Benidorm), and brothers Stuart, played by Matthew McNulty (Five Days, Lark Rise To Candleford, Single Handed), and Jamie played by Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter).

The Syndicate is written by Kay Mellor, whose previous critically acclaimed dramas include: Band Of Gold, Playing The Field, Fat Friends, The Chase and A Passionate Woman. Speaking about The Syndicate Kay says: “I was inspired to write it after a friend of mine was told she was losing her job. With a mortgage to pay and outstanding debts her only hope was to win the lottery. It made me think how many people were thinking the same. As cuts hit hard we’re left with only a dream of six numbered balls deciding our fate – what strange times we are living in! Its both funny and tragic; a perfect recipe for great drama.”

The drama has been commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One and Ben Stephenson, Controller Drama Commissioning. Ben says: “Kay Mellor effortlessly creates such wonderfully rich characters and the fine cast will bring that warmth and heart to the screen. The Syndicate taps into a universal dream about the life changing impact of winning the lottery that will touch everyone.”

The cast also includes: Katherine Dow Blyton, Amy Beth Hayes, Clare Higgins, Judy Parfitt, Christian Contreras and Lorraine Ashborne. The director of The Syndicate is Syd MacCartney and the series is being made by Rollem Productions. The executive producer for the BBC is Polly Hill and the executive producers for Rollem Productions are Kay Mellor and Nicola Shindler. Filming begins on location in Leeds this week and the series will be shown on BBC One in 2012