Episode three of ITV2’s ancient Roman take on ‘The Inbetweeners’, with Marcus (Tom Rosenthal) displaying all the mannerisms of Will McKenzie – but in a very tight tunic. For his birthday, slave and Shaun Ryder doppelganger Grumio is given an early Playboy prototype – a porn vase – thus opening the floodgates for much titillation. Stylax, meanwhile, has a dilemma – should he continue to sleep with his first cousin? His confession scores points with libertarian boss Flavia (Doon Mackichan), but his friends think not: ‘We’re ahead of our time!’ enthuses his pretty relation. ‘Or behind our time?’ he retorts.
'Plebs' is no history lesson: you’ll learn more about the Romans from watching ‘Life of Brian’. Yet it works, even with its ska soundtrack and modern lexicon, because human relationships are a constant. Those of a delicate ilk may recoil at some toilet humour but the poo jokes are, thankfully, not a mainstay. With a fluid, pithy script and some cheeky interplay between the ensemble, ITV2 has produced an ‘Up Pompeii!’ for Generation Y that would make Frankie Howerd titter.
Isola Del Sole
An authentic and popular Sardinian restaurant on Lacey Road, Putney. There's a neighbourhood-restaurant feel to things here, so expect a friendly welcome and plenty of locals. There's an emphasis on the dishes and produce of Sardinia, though other Italian regions feature too. Starters range from fresh artichoke salad with rocket and crisp parmesan to fresh crab salad, burrata on aubergine 'caviar' and bruschetta with n'duja sausage. Pasta dishes such as pappardelle with wild boar ragu and tagliatelle with fresh tiger prawns and cherry tomatoes prove popular here. Third courses include Sardinian-style roast pork belly with borlotti beans and sautéed spinach, and pan-fried prawns with Sardinian cous cous and saffron. The wine list concentrates on Sardinian bottles, though drops from Marche, Friuli, Tuscany and Piemonte also feature. The cocktail list has been designed by Kay Plunkett-Hogge - author of Make Mine a Martini, with classics alongside those paying further homage to Sardinia.