sat 25/05/2024

The Security Men, ITV | reviews, news & interviews

The Security Men, ITV

The Security Men, ITV

Puerile, predictable one-off comedy from writers Caroline Aherne and Jeff Pope

Brendan O'Carroll, Peter Wight, Dean Andrews and Bobby Ball are The Security Men

Does Caroline Aherne hate women? Surely not, but given that there have been plenty of painfully humourless so-called comedies over the years with this heavy a reliance on recurring jokes about older women’s breasts you could be forgiven for hoping that one of the country’s most high-profile comediennes might use her position to produce something a little less puerile than The Security Men.

Aherne and Pope's foursome at least seem to be having fun

The flimsy hour-long programme was co-written with Jeff Pope, who worked with Aherne on 2009‘s The Fattest Man in Britain. The Security Men reused a couple of the stars from their last project as some of the hapless security guards in a Northern shopping centre who go to elaborate lengths to save their jobs when a robbery occurs on their watch. Peter Wight plays Kenneth, the uptight boss of a motley crew consisting of the moody one from Life on Mars, Mrs Brown without her pinny and her “boys", and one half of the '80s comedy duo Cannon and Ball.

Setting the show in the confines of a Salford shopping centre during the night shift keeps casting to a minimum, and Aherne and Pope’s foursome at least seem to be having fun as they mess around on mobility scooters and joke in the control room. Wight’s squad boss is the archetype who takes the job too seriously, filling out incident reports as his coworkers take bets on how many traffic cones he will use to seal off the scene of a spillage. With a back story concerning the home care of his elderly mother, Kenneth is the only one of the characters with any depth. It’s no wonder, then, that whether or not he “washes his own mammy” is used as a source of crass humour throughout.

Brendan O'Carroll and Paddy McGuinness in The Security MenWhen Jimmy (Brendan O’Carroll), Duckers (Bobby Ball) and Ray (Dean Andrews) take advantage of the boss being on a break to turn off the shopping centre’s alarms so that they can sneak into an electrical store to watch a big boxing match, it’s fairly obvious what’s going to happen next. Rather than admit to their wrongdoing the group recruit Ray’s technical whizz-kid nephew to help them overwrite the security footage with the re-staged robbery of the centre’s high-end jewellers. The slapstick comedy as they do so is no more predictable than the boy’s nonsensical technical commentary as he hacks and splices before the police arrive, but fairly inexplicable given 20 minutes of set-up based around the level of contempt they have for their jobs.

Take Me Out presenter Paddy McGuinness (above right, with O'Carroll) is just as loathsome in his role as one of the investigating officers as the rest of the cast, making it impossible to root for the four either to get away with it or to get their comeuppance. Still, it wasn’t a completely wasted hour - from the security footage, the show was set in the location of what must be the last Wimpy restaurant in Britain. As I’m still devastated that the one in my home town closed with little fanfare earlier this year, The Security Men will - despite its best efforts - haunt my dreams.

It's impossible to root for the four either to get away with it or to get their comeuppance


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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There is a Wimpey in King' Lynn just for your info

My husband and I loved this one off and were hoping you would do a series. Please rethink, as we are sure it will be a success.

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