Spread A Little Happiness

Sitcom about a sandwich shop in East Yorkshire run by two ladies trying to introduce designer sandwiches to the locals

Comedy Drama
2009 - 2011  (BBC Radio 4)
12 (2 series)
Nicola Duffett, Debra Stephenson, Suranne Jones, Susan Cookson, Neil Dudgeon, Elizabeth Godber, Ralph Brown, Shaun Prendergast, Ben Crowe, Joanne Frogatt, Anne Reid & more
John Godber, Jane Thornton
Autolycus Productions

Sitcom about a newly divorced woman helping her old schoolfriend with her new project, bringing designer sandwiches to the hinterland of Hull. But Hull seems more interested in bumper breakfast baps than smoked salmon bagels.

Hope and Jodie are understandably nervous as they open their new sandwich shop. As they arrive for their first day, they hope to spread a little happiness to their customers - something they could both do with a bit more of themselves too actually.

It's clear that Hope is rather at sea with this new venture, as it's the first time she has had a proper job. Recently split from her successful businessman husband, Gavin, and waiting for the divorce settlement, Hope ends up sleeping on an airbed in the spare bedroom at Jodie's house.

Hope and Jodie are the 'Thelma and Louise' of the sandwich world and have known each other since school, but Jodie is a workaholic and Hope an alcoholic. The duo discuss the detailed differences between a bap, a stottie cake and a bread bun - not to mention a fish cake and a turnover.

In Series 2, Jodie has to go to Portugal in a hurry, leaving Hope to hold the fort. So the arrival of Hope's cousin Maria, from Dagenham is a bonus, until she starts bringing her southern ideas to a northern makeover, and her advice to Hope's relationship with ex-husband Gavin.

Jodie's husband Dave is none too pleased with the makeover either, but comes round when Hope and Maria agree to look after his Mam while he plumbs in toilets in Goole.

Other characters include passionate roadmender Ray, triumphant divorcee and anxious would-be poet Jenny, posh restaurant reviewer Anita and Hope's moody teenage daughter Carrie.

Our Review: The friendship between the two lead characters in Series 1 was fairly endearing, and there was a lot of 'warmth' to the show, but the programme failed to engage us. We struggled to find much of interest in the plots or dialogue.

The sitcom is going through a bit of a change, with a new cast for Series 2, and new central character - we'll give it a couple of episodes before deciding what we think of the new version.