However awful your housemates have been, you’ve probably seen worse on the small screen. Take C4’s brilliant studentcom ‘Fresh Meat’, returning this week for a third series. Would you live with a posh berk like JP (Jack Whitehall)? Frankly, we’d rather take our chances with the homicidal flatmates of ‘Shallow Grave’.
Television often trumps film in depicting houseshares, with the time and space to address the intricate strategising, manifold irritations and crumbling relationships that they entail. Whether you’re wealthy and ambitious (‘This Life’), impoverished and hapless (‘The Young Ones’) or somewhere in between (‘Peep Show’), co-tenancy on British TV generally ends in carnage.
The work of ‘Peep Show’ creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, ‘Fresh Meat’ boasts another wonderful ensemble and is the natural successor to the duo’s first hit series. You don’t have to have been to university to relate to the disputes over tea-making, hygiene problems and excruciating sexual tension – or the weird alchemy that can make apparently opposed personalities into soulmates.
In real life friendly, functional and approachable, the mostly London-based cast lived on the same floor of a Manchester apartment block throughout the shoot, building an intense bond that creates real magic on screen. They’ve been joined this year by Faye Marsay (as homeschooled fresher Candice), who recalls her first thought when she arrived on set: ‘what the fuck am I doing here?’.
Her understandable concerns proved groundless – she quickly fitted in. But being temporary neighbours is a long way from rinsing out the bath after someone else has used it. Could this lot really share a house? Their horrified expressions speak volumes, but we pressed them for specifics…
Browse our ‘Fresh Meat’ interviews
Read our review of ‘Fresh Meat’
It takes a little while to get going, but it’s never less than supremely watchable, with all the series plotlines neatly established, a promising newbie in home-schooled fresher Candice (Faye Marsay, late of ‘The White Queen’) and the cast slipping into their roles with consumate ease.
The English Grill
A restaurant and carvery at The Rubens at The Palace hotel, on Buckingham Palace Road. It's a busy, elegant room with prints of well-known artworks offering an interesting supplement to the classic dining room. A central service bar hosts the carvery. The main event is roast rib of Aberdeen angus beef with all the trimmings. Other roasts, a daily fish or seafood dish and a vegetarian dish offer alternatives. Grill dishes are available too, with grilled king prawns with garlic, rocket and tomato salad or baby spatchcock peri peri chicken examples. A selection of daily changing desserts also feature. Each of the bottles on a short wine list is available by the glass (175ml and 250ml).
Venue says: “This restaurant is currently closed for refurbishment. The restaurant will reopen in early July 2017. Please do visit our Palace Lounge.”