Charlie Roebuck knows all about ”showbiz” He’s spent his adult life in front of the camera, an expert in the art of the condescending smile, a genius at appearing to give a damn. Be it grilling bent politicians or dissecting the personal lives of the great and good, it’s all the same to Charlie, all grist to the mill. But when he is forced to front the last series of Pinches of Salt he fears the worst. For the past thirty years the show has been following five lacklustre individuals through their tiresome lives and every five years the TV Company descend to pick over their bones. The trouble is none of them has amounted to anything, hardly fertile ground for good television, hardly BAFTA winning material.
With a minuscule budget he must call upon all his experience to try and make a programme that won’t sink his ailing career and send him flat-lining to showbiz oblivion.
Can he pull off the impossible, can he turn five lives around and make them into something that will put see him back on prime time Saturday night television? Well perhaps he can with a little blackmail, mayhem and a never ending supply of duplicity and cunning.
Love him or loath him Charlie is a survivor and if he does go down then he will make sure he takes the company down with him to the glittering bowels of celebrity hell.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
I have to admit to watching this sort of programme as I grew up and cringing along a little more with every seven-year episode that came round. Like all good things, there had to be an end and it is at this point that Robin Roughley steps in with his take on how the end show, in a similar series, may just go.
This is an entertaining gem of dark humour and light-hearted giggles as it follows the mixed up, messed up lives of the now worn out and down trodden adults that these kids have become. This is to be the last show in the series, that is if these dysfunctional adults can all be persuaded to take part. They were, after all, still pawns in a back stage battle for someone to kick-start their own flagging career.
There are some pretty cringe-able characters where I sort of read about them at arm’s length but gawd damn it there comes a time where I really wanted to root for these people, including Charlie Roebuck. What a character he is! Even if he is a little lost to start with himself. What begins as quite funny scenes do sometimes take on a serious note and it made me just want to hug these people, especially Dominique and Michael.
There are so many hilarious stories told in a serious way that did crack me up. It was like having my own personal devil and angel in my mind. One that was saying Oh no! while the devil in me just shouted, please don’t stop! The big question is though will the show go on?
A new road for this author of top selling crime novels and I really hope that there will be more comedy to come and no-one dies!
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robin Roughley hails from the town of Wigan in the North-West of England and is the author of the hugely popular DS Lasser crime series.
Prior to writing about Lasser he produced four plays that would fall into the dark comedy category, two of which were showcased at theatres in Manchester and Yorkshire.
Since then he has self-published seventeen Lasser crime thrillers and is currently working on number nineteen in the series. As usual Lasser and co. are leading him a merry dance. They are the ones who write the stories, Rob just gets led by the nose and has no choice but to follow. It always comes as a surprise to him that at the end, the stories all work out and the crimes solved. But just as he finishes one book, Lasser is pecking his head with another idea.
There is also Lasser: Beginnings. A short story from way back, but even then, Lasser was showing the characteristics that he has later perfected. Together with the burgeoning conscience that now has set up home in his head.
On March 9th 2017, Rob released the first book in the DS Marnie Hammond series, Keep You Near, published by Bloodhound. DS Marnie Hammond hails from Lancashire, in the fictional town of Kirkhead. Like all good detectives, Marnie comes with her own unique set of crime-solving skills. Cut the Threads, was published on the 22nd Feb 2018.
In an exciting new venture, the popular anti-hero, Plymouth, stormed in on August 15th 2017 with a book of his own, Stormcock. And this time, Plymouth most definitely is in charge, dragging Rob, whimpering in fear, in his wake. He lets slip a few secrets of his past which explain his present-day actions. But shhh, not a word to Lasser!
When not writing, which amounts to roughly two days a year, he can be found walking the canal towpaths of Wigan, sorting out plot lines and looking for ideas, with an assortment of dogs in tow.
So, next time you see a shaven-headed, middle-aged man wandering about, scratching his head, looking bewildered and taking random pictures it is Rob hoping for divine inspiration.
If you like your crime to be hard hitting and gritty with an assortment of characters that feel like friends then feel free to jump in at the deep end.
The Lasser series are stand-alone novels though to get the full experience of getting to know the characters involved then Rob suggests you start with Lasser Beginnings and take it from there.