Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PICK OF THE NIGHT; Vincent 9pm, ITV1

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PICK OF THE NIGHT; Vincent 9pm, ITV1

Article excerpt


Vincent 9pm, ITV1

Spot Vincent in the TV listings and the chances are that you - like me - are going to think: this looks good.

And we'd be right.

Firstly, it stars Ray Winstone in the title role, putting in a massive performance as a tough, hard-hitting (in all senses) private detective. No "starry-starry night" feyness for this Vincent; his character's as black as pitch with a voice like gravel. No surprise, though, to learn that Vincent is another of TV's maverick detectives with a troubled love life: his wife has left him and taken up with another man.

The role gives Winstone (right) a chance to, once again, show that he can grab the camera's attention and hold it like no one else.

Secondly, there's a fantastic support cast. The finance director at ITV must have wept when the bill for this lot came through.

There's Suranne Jones, from Coronation Street, as Beth, Vincent's sidekick.

Plus Eva Pope, Philip Glenister, Joe Absolom and Angel Coulby. And this week's guest star is Marc Warren (from Hustle), playing a cuckolded husband (in a voice that at times sounds worryingly like Billy Mitchell in EastEnders. Don't do it, Marc).

And thirdly, it really does look good - literally.

It is shot in a polished London-noir style, and the dark mood almost seems to ooze out of the screen as the camera follows the prowling Vincent through mean streets and posh houses.

So, it looks good, it feels good, it almost even smells good. Where's the catch?

Well, the catch is that somebody forgot to mix into this impressive list of ingredients anything more than the most thin and mixed-up smattering of storylines.

This doesn't sink in immediately because, while you're watching, Winstone's mesmerising performance and the stylish production make the drama compelling.

But by the end nothing much has happened. Okay, there's been lots of action, but no story worth talking about.

Memo to ITV: next time you're splashing out on Ray Winstone and a cast like this, save a little bit to buy a decent plot.

Real Life: Me and My Face 11pm, ITV1

Lauren (right), 22, was just three when she fell and hit her face. …

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