What to expect from episode 2 of UKTV Gold show Sandylands - the new comedy inspired by John Darwin

Sandylands airs on UKTV GoldSandylands airs on UKTV Gold
Sandylands airs on UKTV Gold | Other 3rd Party
Sandylands, the new comedy inspired by Seaton Carew canoe man John Darwin, made its premiere on UKTV Gold on Wednesday, March 4.

David Walliams, Hugh Bonneville, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Inbetweeners actor Simon Bird star in the new comedy, which takes inspiration from Darwin who first hit the headlines in March 2002 when he was reported missing in a canoe in the North Sea.

His then wife Anne collected more than £500,000 in life insurance payouts as he secretly hid away in their home - leaving their two sons to believe he was dead.

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The pair were later both convicted of fraud and served time in prison for their crime.

What to expect in episode 2

Ahead of the latest episode, which will be aired on Thursday, March 5 at 10pm, we’ve taken a look at what to expect from the second instalment of the three-part series.

In tonight’s show Emily (Natalie Dew) arrives home to an unwelcome surprise: Les Vegas (Sanjeev Bhaskar) is alive and well, and has faked his own death for a hefty life insurance payout.

What’s worse, she finds herself handcuffed to her dad and hiding from police officers Trudy (Bronwyn James) and recent love-interest Nathan (Simon Bird), who are pounding down the door and investigating a disturbance reported by Derek (David Walliams) and Jeannie Swallows (Sophie Thompson).

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Narrowly escaping uncovering her father’s secret, and now an unwilling accomplice to his crime, Emily desperately attempts to escape both handcuffs and Les’s attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Where did the idea for the show come from?

Writers Martin Collins and Alex Finch have spoken about how the Darwins sparked their new comic creation.

Martin said: “Sandylands started off as a sketch show about a seaside town where one day the sea went out and never returned. We used to write a lot of sketch comedy and we were writing stuff on the side for sitcoms as well.

“We always have this rule with our writing which is to keep things grounded in the idea that it could happen. Everything is inspired so much by a reality, but it shouldn’t ever go into something too magical.

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“Sometimes we find some of our writing a bit of a cheat because we’re just writing people that we know and what we’ve enjoyed. But a lot of it is just taking notes and absorbing stuff. Also, a lot of the series is based on the canoe man (John Darwin) and we’ve kind of combined the world of stuff that we write along with the story of him and his wife. Alex bought a book about it.”

Alex said: “The wife’s book, called Out of my Depth, was a great ghost-written masterpiece and showed the ridiculousness of their situation.

“Obviously, there was tragedy involved and we don’t want to laugh at that, but the situation that they got themselves in was strangely comic for certain reasons.”

*Sandylands will be aired at 10pm on UKTV gold on Thursday, March 5. The third and final episode will be aired at 10pm on Friday, March 6.