The third season of BBC One drama The Syndicate, written by In The Club creator Kay Mellor, has started filming in Yorkshire.
The all-new cast will include Lenny Henry, Anthony Andrews (The King’s Speech), Alice Krige (Spooks) and Elizabeth Berrington.
The Syndicate launched on BBC One in March 2012 and Season 2 concluded in April 2013.
Kay Mellor commented: “The Syndicate 3 is a completely new series, with a fresh new world and brand-new characters, the staff of a crumbling stately home: the Cook, House Manager, Gardener, Cleaner and Game Keeper. It’s about new money – ordinary people who win a life-changing amount of money on the lottery. I was excited by the idea of setting the syndicate winners amongst the old money of a crumbling stately home, where Lord and Lady Hazelwood’s inherited money is fast running out. It’s a delicious premise which enables me to look at class and social politics within the framework of a drama – ‘downstairs’ becoming instantly wealthier than ‘upstairs’. I’m able to explore how the lack of money and greed have a devastating effect and how a sudden change in fortune can bring about its own problems.”
Executive producer Polly Hill added: “Kay’s brilliantly crafted characters and script, combined with a fresh and exciting cast, will ensure our new series is packed full of gripping stories that our BBC One audience has come to expect from The Syndicate.”
The official synopsis reads: “It’s 2015 and the once impressive Hazelwood Manor, which overlooks all of Scarborough and is the family home of the Hazelwoods, has now fallen into disrepair. Lord Hazelwood (Anthony Andrews) is fading fast, but Lady Hazelwood (Alice Krige), his second wife, seems more concerned with maintaining the lifestyle she’s become accustomed to whilst his stepson Spencer (Sam Phillips) seems intent on spending his inheritance as quickly as possible. What is left of the estate is rapidly disappearing on fast cars, fancy yachts and living the high life despite rising debts… all behind the back of the ailing Lord Hazelwood.
“Meanwhile ‘downstairs’ they have had to seriously reduce their staff; now there are only five left: housekeeper Sarah (Downton Abbey‘s Cara Theobold), cleaner Dawn (Elizabeth Berrington), cook Julie (Melanie Hill), groomsman/odd-job man Sean (Richard Rankin) and gardener Godfrey (Lenny Henry).
“Godfrey formed the lottery syndicate with his colleagues years ago as he was convinced he could work out how to win it mathematically. He is a high functioning person with Asperger’s syndrome and as the series opens he is certain he’s finally cracked the system. He gives cleaner Dawn a list of this week’s ‘winning lottery numbers’ according to his statistics. A series of mishaps ensues and all seems lost – but then it hits them: seemingly against all the odds, they have won £14 million! Everyone is ecstatic. Dawn, pregnant with an unplanned third child, can’t wait to tell her husband Andy (Kieran O’Brien), son Noah (newcomer Bradley Johnson) and beautiful daughter Amy (Daisy Head) who is reluctantly helping her out at Hazelwood Manor but has ambitions to become the next Cara Delevingne. And then, on the night of the win, Amy suddenly goes missing…
“As we relish the joy of our syndicate’s journey from downstairs to upstairs, the search for Amy becomes increasingly urgent. The police investigation uncovers clues and raises myriad suspicions. Secrets and backstories are revealed as we try to find out who has taken the young girl… and just how well do our syndicate really know each other?”
Lenny Henry commented: “I’m delighted to be filming series 3 of The Syndicate – I’ve been a big fan of Kay Mellor’s since Band Of Gold and Playing The Field, so to actually be on set with her as writer/director is just lovely.”
Season 3 will air on BBC One in 2015.
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