TELEVISION / It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to film it

Coming soon from Carlton - Rubbish], a serial drama set in the dog-eat- doner-kebab world of top refuse operatives. It's got everything - the laughter and tears of a close-knit team working close to the edge, the hazards of a world where one slip can leave you wiping out- of-date yoghurt off your face, the banter and bizarre rituals.

Meet Harpic, the hygiene-mad driver; laugh at Bogsy, the new-boy on the cart, as he struggles to learn the traditional craft of attaching grubby teddies to the radiator grille; sympathise with Kath, Barnley's first female refuse operative. In Episode 1: Harpic has to decide whether to leave the streets behind and take promotion to Head Officer, Amenity Standards, while the crew discover that the man at Number 52 has been smuggling grass cuttings out in nappy-sacks, and plan an ingenious revenge.

Well, not quite yet. But it can't be long, given the rate at which television writers are working their way through on-the-job dramas. We've had policemen, doctors, nurses, brickies, tarmac spreaders, soldiers, lifeboatmen, firemen, antiques-dealers, customs officers and, most recently, removal men. Nobody's done a dental practice yet (Rinse]), and the psychological drama of the AA man has only been tapped by advertising. But the schedules are voracious and I can offer no guarantees.

Some of these programmes have actually been pretty decent (though only Alan Bleasedale's Boys from the Blackstuff could really be said to have transcended the genre). Even so, the spirit sinks a little bit at the prospect of yet another. Roughnecks, which is set on and off an oil rig, is rigidly orthodox in its procedure (you can virtually tick off the boxes on the Controller's check-list: 'Character variety? Yup. Nicknames? Yup. Technical detail? Yup. Anecdotal narrative? Yup. Gender tension? Yup.'). But it is all done with considerable style and wit, and looks as if it will give Jack Rosenthal's enjoyable Moving Story (on ITV at roughly the same time) a good run for

its money.

The titles put you on first name terms with everybody right from the start, including the production team. Keiran wrote it, that nice lad who used to be on That's Life] and Tomorrow's World, and he has delivered a sardonic script which makes the whole thing worthwhile. 'They don't call us Celebrity Airways for nothing,' says the girl at the heliport check-in, 'We fly all the stars - Buddy Holly, Jim Reeves, Glenn Miller.'

Inevitably there are bits that look slightly like a Yorkie ad - hard-hat heroics to a skirling sound-track - but the rough world of the oil rigs appears to have been toned down no more than was necessary to make it broadcastable - there are jokes about sexual deprivation and bestiality, about masturbation and porn movies - plenty of off-shore crude, in short, which backs up the journalistic detail of life as a roughneck.

The cast is excellent, from the bumptious Welsh beginner with fantasies of the new frontier (Hywel Simons) to the rig cook, Cinders (Ricky Tomlinson), and the programme is also refreshingly elliptical at times, allowing you to piece together details for yourself or work out the circumstances that would make a particular joke funny - which puts you far enough outside the world depicted to be convinced that you're getting an

inside view.

As we're off Aberdeen, this is perhaps the place to correct the impression given in my review of Love on a Branch Line that women married to Scottish men need consolation. What I actually wrote was 'sottish'. The sub-editor responsible is awaiting his summons from the Commission for Racial Equality.

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary charm: Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in 2004’s ‘King Arthur’
FilmGuy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle the legend
Arts and Entertainment
Corporate affair: The sitcom has become a satire of corporate culture in general

TV review

Broadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: There are some impressive performances by Claire Skinner and Lorraine Ashbourne in Inside No. 9, Nana's Party spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Glastonbury's pyramid stage

Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair

Arts and Entertainment
Ewan McGregor looks set to play Lumiere in the Beauty and the Beast live action remake

Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere

Arts and Entertainment
Charlie feels the lack of food on The Island with Bear Grylls

TV

The Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Arts and Entertainment
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, in a scene from Avengers: Age Of Ultron
filmReview: A great cast with truly spectacular special effects - but is Ultron a worthy adversaries for our superheroes? spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Ince performing in 2006
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Beth (played by Jo Joyner) in BBC1's Ordinary Lies
tvReview: There’s bound to be a second series, but it needs to be braver spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, the presenters of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off 2015

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Harold Ramis' original Groundhog Day film, released in 1993

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence