Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tarnishedband of Gold-Diggers

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tarnishedband of Gold-Diggers

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY RAMSEY

Goldplated 10pm, Channel 4

WELCOME to the glitzy, superficial, vacuous world of the "Cheshire set" - where women are slinky, men are sleazy and money is conspicuous.

It's like Footballers' Wives with a Northern accent and a bunch of less admirable characters (yes, really).

The story centres on Cassidy, a beautiful, surgically enhanced young woman from a council-flat background who has struck gold by hooking up with wealthy old property developer John.

Unbeknown to her, he is on the brink of bankruptcy. He's so close that he storms round to threaten his bank manager in the middle of the poor chap's Sunday round of golf. Not the sort of behaviour to smooth things over, you might think. But hey, this is Cheshire, they do things differently there.

It is an incident that hammers home the drama's overarching (but obvious) point: that these people have fancy clothes, big houses and fast cars but underneath they are just cheap and thuggish. The problem with this opening episode is that none of the characters is very likeable.

They're nasty, duplicitous and grasping. Which is a handicap, because it really is hard to care what happens to any of them. By halfway through you may find yourself wanting to slip away, as if cornered by a group of brutish show-offs in the pub.

Things may pick up as the series continues and, like Footballers' Wives, it could become trashily compulsive.

Don't expect anything too sophisticated, though.

Natural World

8pm, BBC2

The subtitle of this is The Lost Lions Of India, which is probably enough to get some smart-alecs chirping up with: "They really would be lost - because lions live in Africa. D'oh."

Yet the Asiatic lion does exist, even though many people don't know about it - and here's some excellent footage to prove it. Numbers hit a low point of 20 last century, but there are now more than 300.

The Asiatic lion has a different appearance to the familiar African one, being linked to the big cats of ancient Greece and Rome. This programme follows their behaviour close-up - director Harry Marshall got as close as four feet away. …

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