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THIEVES LIKE US

Series: The series was based on The Burglar Diaries and it ran for six 30 min episodes.

It was first screened on BBCThree early in 2007, and then again in
June of that same year, but has not been seen on British screens since.

Plot: Bex and Ollie area couple of jobbing burglars. They make a living out of lifting stuff from factories, warehouses, offices and shops, and take work where they can find it. Neither’s particularly ambitious or courageous, preferring instead to aim low and live comfortably rather than aim high and risk time.

They are small fish in a small suburban pond, although they don't have it all their own way; ‘Weasel’ of CID is only ever one faltering step behind them, the local criminal competition will do anything to stitch them up them and their better halves are wondering what the hell they’ve done to deserve them.

Surely there are easier ways of earning a dishonest living?

 

Cast (regulars):

Bex . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tom Brooke Ollie . . . . . . . . . . . Fraser Ayres Mel . . . . . . . . . . . Jessica Harris Belinda . . . . . . Chereen Buckley Weasel . . . . . . . . . . Gary Beadle Norris . . . . . . . . . Darren Tighe Electric . . . . . . . . David Bradley Roland . . . . . . Andrew Buckley Charlie . . . . . . . . Roger Sloman Sgt Atwell . . . Ian Bartholomew PC Bennett . . . . . . . . Robin King Keith. . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Burdis

 

Episode One: The Warehouse Job

 

Bex and Ollie have a lucrative job lined up; a warehouse full of widescreen televisions and an eager buyer to with cash on the hip. There's only one problem; Mel's on the warpath. bex doesn't know what he's done, only what will happen to him and his lucrative deal if Mel catches up with him.

First screened 22nd January 2007 on BBCThree.

Bob Shaw . . . . . Lloyd McGuire
Customer . . . . . Dominic Coleman
Mrs Bob . . . . . . Caroline Parker
Dan at bar . . . . Danny King

Episode Two: The Alarm Job

 

Mel has an important meeting in the morning but she can't get to sleep. A neighbour’s burglar alarm is ringing across the roach and no one’s home to turn it off. The police don’t care and her earplugs are useless. Perhaps her good-for-nothing burglar boyfriend is good for something after all?

First screened 29th January 2007 on BBCThree.

Clip: You Tube

Episode Three: The Teapot Job

 

Electric's been turned over. Among the items nicked is a precious antique teapot. Electric wants it back and he ain’t kidding. Bex and Ollie must help him recover his property or find another fence for their gear.

First screened 5th February 2007 on BBCThree.

Mr Cooper . . . . . John Normington
Receptionist . . . . Abi Eniola

Clip: You Tube

Episode Four: The Jackets Job

 

Bex and Ollie are banged up in the cells and they’ve got Norris and Roland for neighbours. Weasel’s confident he finally has the lot fo them at last, but then again he hasn’t reckoned on the lengths their brief will go to het his clients off and earn his Legal Aid.

First screened 12th February 2007 on BBCThree.

Alice . . . . . . . . . . Joan Linder
Number Four. . . Oliver Ford
Number Two . . . Richard Glover

Episode Five: The Footballer Job

 

Mel’s 13-year-old cousin, Wayne, has his bike thrown in the river by Premiership bad boy, Claude Delacroix, for allegedly scratching his sports car. Mel wants an apology for Wayne, and Bex and Ollie are the guys to get it for her. Or else they’ll see to it that Claude’s sorry for real.

First screened 19th February 2007 on BBCThree.

Claude Delacroix . . . . . . . . Dhafer L’Abidine
Wayne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Corey J Smith
Jackie (concerned mum) . . Faye Rusling
Newsagent . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephen K Amos
Clubber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Danny Glover
Mr Andrews . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Steen

Clip: You Tube
Clip: You Tube



Episode Six: The Office Job

 

Bex and Ollie have job interviews; situations vacant, sales staff with a telesales firm. Not the greatest job in the world but a foot on the ladder all the same. Mel smells a rat and wants to know what this ladder of theirs is leaning againsts. And why Weasel of CID’s searching the whole town looking for them.

First screened 26th February 2007 on BBCThree.

Horace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Geoffrey McGivern
Doris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Selena Cadell
Security Guard. . . . . . . . Jim Field Smith
Glam Date . . . . . . . . . . . Shirley Cheriton
Frumpy Date . . . . . . . . . Denise Mack
Lecherous Date . .. . . . . . Sue Vincent
Speed Date Organiser. . . Philippa Fordham




Episode Seven: The Key Job

 

Bex and Ollie are released from prison after their first serious stretch. Mel's done a runner, some beardy weirdy’s living in Bex’s flat and worst of all, the key to Bex’s safety deposit box is missing. The boys need help. Sounds like a job for ‘Special Constable’ Norris.

Alas this one was never filmed. It was to be the first episode of the second series but shortly after the script was written we got word that the BBC had pulled the plug. Still, I include it here for posterity.

VANITY CAMEO

 

Eagle-eyed viewers can find me in the first episode, The Warehouse Job, propping up the bar as scummy Dan and putting paid to any hopes of an acting career, although I do come back and make a second, less obvious, appearance in The Jackets Job as ‘man in cell’. I’m the first guy Sergeant Atwell turns to for help with his crossword at the start of the episode – once again tumble drying sir Larry in his grave with my stella performance.

THIEVES LIKE US REPEATS

 

Thieves Like Us was never recommissioned so if Bex and Ollie are to get another outing, it won't be through a second series.

The BBC have no plans to rescreen the show on any of its channels so it may be one of those television programmes that disappears into the mists of time. I have heard from one source that the BBC plan to put all its programmes onto the net and make them downloadable (right), so this should presumably include Thieves unless they've already recorded Dog Borstal over the top of it. I'll keep you posted.

THIEVES LIKE US DVD

The BBC have no plans to release Thieves Like Us on DVD therefore if you want to see it you'll either have to invent a time machine or drop Electric a line and request a copy of the series.

Obviously the old bastard's not made of postage & packaging so he might well ask you for a fiver for stamps, envelopes and Vicks Sinex, but if you're interested he had a boxload of them in last night. Just don't ask him where he got them from, alright.

DVD

MORE BURGLAR DIARIES

Because very little of the original book appeared in the series, I adapted the scripts and the seventh [unfilmed] episode into a novel and [originally] published it myself through lulu.com.

It's now published by Byker Books and available in paperback or as a n ebook. More details can be found on the More Burglar Diaries page.

 

PC Bennett and DS ‘Weasel’ between bacon rolls.

Official Site: www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/thieveslikeus
IMDB: www.imdb.com/title/tt0942806/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thieves_Like_Us_(TV_series)

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