Trollied. Lorraine (Stephanie Beacham). Copyright: Roughcut Television.

Stephanie Beacham


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Part three of the comedy about an incorrigible septuagenarian (Miriam Margolyes) whose cautious adult daughter (writer Frog Stone) feels obliged to help with a wacky list of dying wishes. It's time for second cousin Gemma's wedding, which means much more of Stephanie Beacham as the hellishly snobby and controlling mother of the bride - another archetype too simply drawn for the moments of pathos to take hold. Making a wedding episode feel fresh is a big ask.

Jack Seale, The Guardian, 27th April 2017

Bucket: tenderness, fury, and lashings of gynaecology

You were entitled to feel confused by the opening credits to Bucket (BBC Four). It's a new sitcom which shares its name with a celebrated gargoyle from an old sitcom. Imagine if someone wrote a comedy called Mainwaring or Meldrew. And then there was the epigraph from T S Eliot, not commonly associated with ribtickling hilarity.

Jasper Rees, The Telegraph, 13th April 2017

Every gag in the "modern world v retirement" book is used in Boomers, but the cast is so good it just about carries it off. This week, Alan's rant at the neighbours goes viral and a newly arrived couple, Matt and Seb, invite the Boomers to a houseparty. Maureen (Stephanie Beacham, as minxish as ever) tries to keep her gay icon status under wraps as Joyce (the brilliant Alison Steadman) tries to ingratiate herself. There's a farce involving an upcycled family heirloom and a small dog, but the one-liners are good.

Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 1st April 2016

"I CAN handle myself." "I wouldn't in those shorts!" That's the type of humour you can expect in this new series of Boomers, the gently cheeky sitcom about a group of older people, ageing baby boomers, as they gossip, nag, squabble, and go on holiday together.

Boomers is never laugh-out-loud funny but it's warm and charming and has an impressive cast of famous older faces, such as Alison Steadman, Stephanie Beacham and, er, Russ Abbott.

Julie McDowall, The National, 25th March 2016

Imagine a world where Russ Abbot is shacked up with Stephanie Beacham, but threatened by the appearance of Nigel Planer, who has a thirtysomething Lithuanian wife. Welcome to the first episode of this frisky 60-plus sitcom, which is ushered in with a funeral. Even though the cast don't get any hilarious one-liners to show off yet, there's also the charming promise of Alison Steadman as Joyce, the ringleader for the newly retired and easily-bored posse, as well as June Whitfield, who's set to appear later in the series.

Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 15th August 2014

Radio Times review

This sitcom from Richard Pinto (Citizen Khan) will be clasped to the bosom of anyone who loves New Tricks, as Boomers centres on a group of old-timers, friends from years back, who find themselves out of kilter with the modern world.

The humour is broad and painted with the widest brush strokes and there are echoes of Victor Meldrew's curmudgeonly head-butting against the idiocies of political correctness and life in general. The cast includes some solid comedy names, including Russ Abbot as the dourest member of the group and Nigel Planer as the wide boy with the newly acquired young Eastern European wife (feel free to let out a weary groan).

The women (Alison Steadman, Paula Wilcox, Stephanie Beacham) always win out in any given situation as their hopeless blokes go to the pub. In the opening episode, everyone gathers at a funeral.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 15th August 2014

Boomers' Stephanie Beacham: "I'm thrilled to be back"

At last, television has woken up to the so-called "silver brigade". The popularity of shows such as Last Tango In Halifax and New Tricks are proof that today's senior citizens are anything but doddery old-timers. This week, a new comedy-drama joins the growing list of programmes starring actors over the age of 60. BBC One's six-part series Boomers charts the ups and downs of three fictional couples who have recently retired to the Norfolk seaside.

Vicki Power, The Daily Express, 9th August 2014

Laughs were provided by Sky One's Trollied, which returns for its third series. The joy of Trollied is that it has so many characters that the majority of the scenes only last a couple of minutes.

The main plot of this series seems to be the introduction of Richard France (Chris Geere), a strategist who is aiming to modernise Valco using the Warrington branch as his tester store. Obviously Richard's bold ideas, including his clothing choices, will inevitably clash with the more traditional views of manager Gavin (Jason Watkins) and his assistant manager Julie (Jane Horrocks).

Elsewhere, we are treated more to the tedious love story between butcher Kieran (Nick Blood) and checkout girl Katie (Chanel Creswell). It seems that the now divorced Kieran is in a depressive state while Katie has finally realised that he's the perfect man for her. Luckily this romantic story isn't dwelt upon too long and we get plenty from our favourite comic characters including head butcher Andy (Mark Addy) and senior citizen deli assistant Margaret (Rita May).

It is these established characters that get the best gags including the now romantically linked Colin (Carl Rice) and Lisa (Beverly Rudd) whose sexual exploits provide some of the funniest moments in the episode.

I'm still not quite sure what to make of weird fishmonger Ray (Adeel Akhtar) and his new apprentice Dave (Danny Kirrane) as I didn't find their characters to be fully-formed.

Ultimately not much has changed in the world of Trollied and I think I like it that way. The jokes are still as funny as ever while the performances from Watkins and Horrocks are great especially when we saw how proud Gavin and Julie were of their summertime display.

Though I don't think this will quite reach the heights of Season 2, due to the fact that Stephanie Beacham has now left the show, Trollied continues to be a funny sketch-like sitcom with plenty of well-rounded characters.

The Custard TV, 27th August 2013