Massive. Image shows from L to R: Tony (Johnny Vegas), Danny (Ralf Little), Shay (Carl Rice). Copyright: BBC


  • TV sitcom
  • BBC Three
  • 2007 - 2008
  • 7 episodes (1 series)

Sitcom set around the launch of Manchester's hottest new music record label, Shady Records. Stars Ralf Little, Carl Rice, Johnny Vegas, Paul Kaye, Christine Bottomley and more.

Character guide

Massive. Danny (Ralf Little). Copyright: BBC


AKA: Danny Stewart.  Played by: Ralf Little

Didsbury born Danny is the middle-class foil to Gorton ghetto lad Seamus. He was geekier than Shay when they first met at the tender age of 12 - and he still is now.

Occasionally in awe of his best mate's swagger, and always aware of his own bourgeois beginnings, Danny is nonetheless tenacious in his band tastes. And if we're absolutely honest, knows even more about music than his best mate.

Ever enthusiastic and just a tad naïve, he's exactly what's needed to kick start Shady Music. If only Danny can get past Shay's arty mood swings, and stop interfering with the talent, he might have the next Factory Records on his hands.

Massive. Shay (Carl Rice). Copyright: BBC


AKA: Shay Finnigan.  Played by: Carl Rice

Shay doesn't work at being cool, he was just born that way: the strut, the skinny jeans, the drawl - he has them all. As pretentious as Danny is pragmatic, he hates Coldplay and swears his Shania Twain record is for ironic use only. But scratch the surface and you realise he secretly needs Danny as much as Danny needs him.

Shay was the first of the Finnegan family to hold down a proper job, and is too smart to go the same way as his petty criminal father. Though always nonchalant, Shay really cares about this record label. Music is art, and he's in it for all the right reasons. If it happens to attract the birds too, that's a bonus.

Massive. Tony (Johnny Vegas). Copyright: BBC


AKA: Tony Finnigan.  Played by: Johnny Vegas

Shay's dad Tony is a petty criminal with hidden depths. When he's not nicking his son's last twenty or next door's satellite dish, he deals with Shay's sulking, wife Lorraine's drinking habits and offers life guidance to Danny's dad.

Shay's love of music comes from his parents. Tony and Lorraine toured the Manchester pub circuit in the Seventies, and while their double-act was ill-fated there remains a fair dollop of spice in their marriage.

Tony can most often be found aiding and abetting Manchester master criminal Big Stu or enjoying the ambience of The White Horse.

Massive. Manny Westside (Paul Kaye). Copyright: BBC

Manny Westside

Played by: Paul Kaye

Celebrity dance producer Manny Westside is making a comeback. After a spell chilling in India with his yogi, London-born Manny is itching to start knob-twiddling again.

Manny thinks HearKittyKitty are mad grimy (whatever that means)... he wants to get in on the Shady act! Question is, can he stay off the cocaine long enough to help deliver the mix the record label need for a hit?

Massive. Lou (Christine Bottomley). Copyright: BBC


Lou is Manchester's foremost music critic. Quick-witted and even quicker talking, what she doesn't know about the scene isn't worth knowing.

Lou alternately mothers the lads and kicks them up the a**e. If truth be told, most of their triumphs stem from her advice and brimming contacts book, but as long as they're living the dream - and she has a steady supply of new bass-players to flirt with - she's happy.

Massive. Lorraine (Lorraine Cheshire). Copyright: BBC


AKA: Lorraine Finnigan.  Shay's Mum.   Played by: Lorraine Cheshire

Lorraine loves the two men in her life; husband Tony and son Shay. But she also harbours another passion: Strongbow. More often than not, this becomes a messy affair; from inadvertently stage-diving at Shady Music's Battle of the Bands to stealing booze from the church, Tony has his hands full keeping an eye on her.

Massive. Swing (Joel Fry). Copyright: BBC


AKA: Martin.  Played by: Joel Fry

Swing writes gangsta rap and works in Comet. Mates with Danny and Shay since way back when, he's fully supportive of their music venture.

However, when it becomes clear "You're A Ho" is not going to get him signed to Shady, Swing turns his attention to another matter close to his heart: Nancy from the coffee shop. All he has to do now is pluck up the courage to talk to her...

Most of his dates with Nancy are a total disaster - but at least he keeps himself armed with hundreds of facts and stats to try and keep the conversation flowing!

Massive. Strange Pete (Craig Parkinson). Copyright: BBC

Strange Pete

Played by: Craig Parkinson

Strange Pete is a casualty of the heady days of the Madchester scene. Still mourning the loss of his own Nineties Manc explosion band, the Ocelots, Pete's never seen without his beloved guitar Janice.

Mostly too bonced to know what Shay and Danny are doing, he's nevertheless constantly on hand to partake in the label's various adventures.

Massive. Tina Simpson (Beverly Rudd). Copyright: BBC

Tina Simpson

Played by: Beverly Rudd

Tina is one half of HearKittyKitty. She works in Manchester's Superb'uns bakery with her sister and band-mate Marie.

Regularly seen around town drinking Lambrini (and doing the dance), the blunt and crude Tina and Marie arrive at Shady headquarters armed only with a boom-box and a couple of goose-bump inducing voices. They're soon hired.

It isn't long before Tina starts to show a penchant for label boss Danny - but he is a little un-sure of her as she is, politely putting it, 'large'.

Don't ever mention to Tina that she doesn't look like her sister - she's not adopted, got it!?

Massive. Marie Simpson (Faye McKeever). Copyright: BBC

Marie Simpson

Played by: Faye McKeever

Marie is the other half of Droylsden duo HearKittyKitty.

Marie's time is divided between potato-based junk food and a constant battle with her bowels. If the lads can make a hit out of Marie and Tina, they've got more gumption than they think!

Marie is just as crude as her sister - if not more so. No topic is off-limits for discussion, as one rather shocked journalist soon finds out.

Massive. Nancy (Joanne King). Copyright: BBC


Played by: Joanne King

Wide-eyed and waif-like, Nancy works in the lads' favourite coffee shop.

Swing is besotted with her, but thinks he doesn't stand a chance. Nancy's smitten but too shy to make a move. Will they ever get it together?

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