The Syndicate, Kay Mellor’s drama about lottery winners, has returned to BBC One – six years after the third series – with a new cast of characters, this time working at a Yorkshire kennels.
“I wanted to do something completely different, so this is a cat and mouse story... although it’s actually about dogs,” explained Mellor, who was interviewed by TV presenter Michelle Ackerley at a BBC event, co-streamed by RTS Yorkshire and Screen Yorkshire.
“Each other Syndicate has been about a group of people who have won the lottery and what happens to them. This is completely different. I was able to look at all aspects of contemporary life in the north of England.”
In the latest series, a syndicate of young kennel workers think they’ve won the lottery but all is not as it seems and they soon find themselves out of their depth in Monaco.
The award-winning creator of Band of Gold and Fat Friends praised the actors for their dedication during a tricky shoot under Covid restrictions: “They didn’t go home half the time; they didn’t socialise... that’s a big thing to ask young people to do for their own mental health. It was work, work, work, work, work. They were wonderful: they never moaned, they just got on with it.”
The young cast are joined by the experienced Neil Morrissey and Gaynor Faye. “[The shoot] was really tough and there was a lot of anxiety, but also a lot of fun and coming together,” said Faye.
How was filming done differently, asked Ackerley. “We were all wrapped in cling film,” joked Morrissey.
“Testing, testing, testing,” added Mellor. “I didn’t want to create a Covid world or shoot with everybody two metres apart – it would not have worked. The Syndicate is about a group of people and I had intimate scenes in it
A fifth series is a possibility. “There’s something cooking,” said Mellor. “It took six years for this to come to screen. There’s one in there but it’s not cooked up yet.”