RSS Feed

Tag Archives: council estate

Richard and the Armitage Crew (when do I get my crew tattoo?)

Yowza, it’s been a while since I last posted, luckily it was less than 10 days ago, so I can count that far, plus I have a pinky or two to spare.

My excuse defense is that I have been keeping myself busy with good RL stuff, but as I have failed as a blogger, I am humbly accept my punishment so I’m ready for my spanking Mr Armitage…

Today I shall start by write about one of my absolute favorite aspects of our little community of Armitage Admirers.

As I had mentioned before, due to my planned trip to see the thespian Richard Armitage in July, I’ve had to tighten the ol’ belt and couldn’t splash out on Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew by Bernard Hare until debts were paid off and London pocket-money (or rather a large sack, judging by how expensive that city is…) was safely tucked away waiting for July.


I must admit, with all the positive reviews of the book, it did very much feel like a kid with its nose stuck to the sweet shop window, but needs must and I was focusing on the greater good.

Turns out two beautiful souls ( you know who you are and, more importantly, I know who you are!)  gifted me a copy, so this sugar-starved snotty-nosed kid could dive right into the book, so thank you and I.O.U!!!

To continue with my annoying sweety metaphor,  I couldn’t stop devouring Hare’s book and it was so good it gave me literature diabetes…

I bet there have been dozens of posts written on the topic of Urban, both about the book, the film adaptation, Richard’s part and everything in between, so let me just offer a few random thoughts:

I’m was adamant that I wouldn’t really enjoy the plot as I’d be focused on the character that Richard plays, how prominent he is and whether he has any good lines etc.


Officially my favorite Chop pic to date!

Not to worry, Chop is the narrator, the part is plump and perfect for our Mr A- juicy, disturbing, heart-breaking and, at times, ridiculously tender.

Judging by the set pics, book Chop has been transformed from an overweight long-in-the-tooth boozer to a slimmer boozer with dodgy dress sense.

Ergo, just like beards started being hot right about the time Richard grew one, I’m betting grandpa-meets-second hand shop garb and dodgy hats will stoke our fires red-hot very soon.


This part is just what Dr AgzyM ordered as an antidote to The Hobbit madness and the fact that I’m actually getting my wish makes me think I should seriously play the lottery and maybe hit another jackpot.

Also, no spoilers, but there is a scene that involves dangerous water and Richard getting soaked, so yahoo! for us and bummer! for him.

And when I say water… well… maybe it’s not pure H2O, but then Porter stuck a Swiss Army knife up you-know-what, so let’s not get prissy…

For those who read the book and would like to delve deeper into the dark world of welfare benefits and estates and need a bit of context to understand Urban better, here are two recommendations:

I adore the first season of Shameless (UK version, not the US).

It follows the Gallagher family and other occupants of the fictional Chatsworth council estate in Manchester and stars the delicious James McAvoy (nuff said!).

You can watch it on YT, episodes chopped up into small mouthfuls:

You can also check out a 5-part documentary called Benefit Street, which follows people living on James Turner Street in Birmingham, where it is reported 90% of the residents are on benefits.


It’s Shameless how good British TV is!

I had mentioned that James McAvoy had me ‘at hello’.

The first time I consciously saw him on screen was in the UK version of Shameless.

This comedy-drama follows a group of siblings, living on a council estate in Manchester, who are basically abandoned by their parents, and develop mechanisms to survive.

Frank Gallagher (David Threlfall), an intelligent but wasteful alcoholic and his large, dysfunctional family, struggle to make ends meet by coming up with schemes.

The series is now in its 9th season, however it has fallen victim to the curse of actors who move on to bigger and better things.

This is the case with James McAvoy, who plays the role of Steve, a middle-class guy from a good family who falls in love with Fiona (Ann-Marie Duff), the oldest sibling of the Gallagher Family.

I especially recommend the first two seasons, after that characters leave the show and by season 4 the focus shifts when new characters are introduced.

There’s something beautiful about the relationship between Steve and Fiona, and when they leave the series suffers.

Nothing is ever as it seems with the Gallagher’s, and the twists and turns in the plot keep you glued to the screen.

I dare you  not to fall in love with the Gallagher Family!

Despite their illegal activities and inappropriate behaviour, you find yourself rooting for the siblings.

This series is a strange twist on the concept of family and drawing strength from those closest to you.

There’s a US version of the show.

I haven’t seen it, but I hear it doesn’t hold a candle to the UK equivalent.

You can watch entire episodes on YT.

%d bloggers like this: