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NEXT OF KIN (article first published : 2005-10-11)

BBC Prime is presenting the hilarious comedy Next of Kin on Tuesdays at 21h30 on the DStv channel.

Maggie and Andrew (Penelope Keith and William Gaunt) are looking forward to leaving England and starting a new life abroad, now that Andrew has retired after “many boring years at the Ministry of Pen Pushing”. The promise of “better food, better wine and better weather” is very seductive as they sit in a sunny square in the South of France, discussing how their move will also enable them to cut ties with people they no longer wish to see - in particular, their boring son Graham and his politically correct wife, to whom they refer as “Bootface”.

But fate deals cruel hand - and on their return from France, Maggie and Andrew are greeted with the tragic news that their son and daughter-in-law have been killed in a car crash. Maggie takes the news surprisingly well - she readily admits that she and her son shared a mutual dislike from his babyhood and she has never considered herself “cut out for motherhood”. However, the news that she and Andrew are now in charge of their three grandchildren is much more of a blow to Maggie. She is appalled at the idea of having Georgia (13), Philip (11), and Jake (5) living under the same roof - and that’s before she even knows about the rabbits, hamsters, goldfish and parrot.

To make matters worse, the children are miniature versions of their parents, raised as virulent anti-smokers and champions of the politically correct. So how will they get along with their old-guard grandparents?




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