Crims is a new BBC Three comedy airing early January 2015 that follows straight-laced Luke, played by stand-up comedian Elis James (The Committee, Game Face), and Jason played by Kadiff Kirwan (Jesus Christ Superstar, Home), who both make their TV acting debut. Luke inadvertently finds himself sentenced to two years in Young Offender Institution Sunnybank View after becoming a bank robber’s getaway driver, along with the bank robber in question, his girlfriend’s brother and so-called friend - Jason. To make matters worse he has to share a cell with Jason. Luke will have to rely on Jason’s street smarts to get him through. Unfortunately, Jason is a massive idiot.
2011 Foster’s Best Newcomer nominee Cariad Lloyd (The Cariad Show, Give Out Girls) is on hand to keep a watchful eye on the boys as prison officer Dawn, alongside her unsettling colleague Creg, played by Ricky Champ (Him & Her, Youngers). The series will also introduce a host of brand-new comedic actors to the channel and a cameo from former Dr Who Sylvester McCoy.
The series comprises 6 x 30minute episodes and has been created and written by Dan Swimer (Grandma’s House, Bad Education) and Adam Kay (Mongrels, Up The Women). It is a BBC In-house Comedy production, produced by James Farrell and executive produced by Stephen McCrum and Pete Thornton, and directed by Ben Kellett (Mrs Browns Boys, Badults), and Alex Winckler (My Mad Fat Diary).
Luke (Elis James) isn’t very well suited to a Young Offender Institution – he’s a nice, sensitive boy from the Valleys. Unfortunately he found himself inadvertently becoming a bank robber’s getaway driver (or as it turns out, ‘getty-caught’ driver). To make matters worse he is sharing a cell with Jason, the bank robber in question. And to make matters even worse, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Luke will make it through the first week.
Everyone has a friend like Jason (Kadiff Kirwan) – you just don’t have to share a cell with them. Overconfident, relentlessly positive and lovably idiotic, he’s always on hand with a mis-remembered phrase. Whilst Luke is sulking and convinced he’s going to die, Jason is confident they’ll triumph over adversity. After all, to quote Jason, did David not defeat Godzilla?
Luke would have probably cut all ties to Jason for getting him locked up if it wasn’t for Gemma (Lashana Lynch) – she’s Luke’s girlfriend… and Jason’s sister. Gemma is sweet, pretty and entirely oblivious to the fact that her mate Roger is trying to get into her… body.
Creg (Ricky Champ) is the senior officer on the wing, and rules the place with an iron fist (plus some steel handcuffs, and rubber bullets). He has a soft spot for his colleague Dawn, and knows everything about her from her favourite colour to her Facebook password. Creg wants to subtly let Dawn know he’s got feelings for her, but he isn’t very good at subtlety (unless you consider skywriting to be subtle).
Dawn (Cariad Lloyd) spends her time at Sunnybank View split equally between looking after the inmates’ pastoral needs and avoiding Creg’s constant creepy advances. She truly cares for the inmates and wants the very best for them; though will accidentally drop in the odd insensitive remark. In fairness, it can be difficult to concentrate at work when someone keeps stealing swimwear from your locker.
Mr Dunlop (Sylvester McCoy) is the prison’s 70 year old, one-eyed Latin teacher. He was only 53 the last time a student studied Latin – but Luke’s apparent fondness for the subject has seen him come back from retirement. He’s very old school in his approach – classic MGs, a nice glass of port, and inappropriate boundaries with his students.
Black Elton John
Black Elton John (Ed Kear) is the prison’s fixer, and can smuggle in anything you want – from cigarettes to Walnut Whips. The method he uses to smuggle them in might mean you want to wash the Walnut Whips quite thoroughly…
Marcel (Theo Barklem-Biggs) is the kingpin of the Young Offender Institution. He’s been locked up for four years, ever since they found a policeman’s helmet in his glove box (amongst other bits of anatomy). He’s softly-spoken, completely terrifying, and strangely obsessed with The Twilight Saga. But don’t take the mickey out of him for this, or he’ll use your head as a toilet brush.
Daz (Selom Awadzi) is Marcel’s chief henchman. He’s six foot tall by six foot wide, with a significant stammer - although that hasn't affected his self-confidence, or his right hook.
Isaac (Jamal Hadjkura) is the lowest of the low in the prison – he’s a snitch. Thin and weedy, he’s like velcro to bullies.
We meet Governor Suzanne Riley (Tracy Ann-Oberman) in times of emergency - generally emergencies caused by Creg. She's fierce, firm, mostly fair, and has both eyes fixed on taking over the UK Prison Service (If not the UK).
Bev (Naomi Cooper-Davis) is tough on the eye, tough on the inmates
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