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Iain Maciver: Has Martin Compston signed himself up for a career of underwhelming endings?

TV series Our House stars Tuppence Middleton and Martin Compston (Photo: Laurence Cendrowicz/Shutterstock)
TV series Our House stars Tuppence Middleton and Martin Compston (Photo: Laurence Cendrowicz/Shutterstock)

Likeable Scots actor Martin Compston is everywhere.

The Greenock-born fellow is in TV series Our House, which some have loved and others not so much. This week is also the 20th anniversary of the film Sweet Sixteen which made his name.

I saw it again recently. Yeah, he was great in it as a silly teenager trying to help his jailed mum, but it was a very dark film, too, about the druggie underbelly of living in Scotland then – and, undoubtedly, now.

Directed by Ken Loach, of course it was going to do well. It had a black ending, however, where we see Martin as woebegone Liam in a doom-stricken walk towards the sea.

In this new series, he is Bram Lawson, estranged from wife Fi, but still owning a home together. Oh-oh. I see problems ahead.

It’s already available on the ITV player thingummybob and viewers already have a bit of a problem with the programme’s pointless ending.

Not again. Listen, Martin, this isn’t good for your reputation. Don’t sign up for shows and flicks with pointless endings. That’s two in a row.

We don’t want TV endings that ‘make us think’

Oh my golly gosh. Wait a minute. There’s three. What about the ending of Line of Duty, where he’s Detective Inspector Steve Arnott? After the amazing build-up about who H was, which at one point made 13.1 million of us tune in, that was another awful ending for a series.

We felt cheated. We must feel justice has prevailed and that bad guys do not get off on a technicality.

Did the Metropolitan Police’s top cops finally do away with the anti-corruption unit AC-12? Did they identify other suspects in the OCG? Who ran the OCG? Were any other cops in the OCG? What do the letters OCG stand for? Is there going to be another series? So many questions left hanging.

This isn’t real life. We don’t want endings that “make you think”. Entertain us, you shower of hopeless screenwriters. And, Martin, get a grip. You’re not 16 anymore. Remember the golden rule from when you were a kid in Inverclyde on what to do if you are offered anything dodgy – or with a dodgy ending. Just say no.

Know what side your bread is buttered on

I say no to these so-called health experts and chefs who now promote bread for weight loss. That goes against the advice on the NHS websites – not to mention from my GP.

I’m going back for a refund on this stupid wine box. It says on it: ‘Once opened, will last for six weeks.’ It was empty after three days

Switch to a brown bread and have a glass or two of plonk, they say, and you will soon be as light on your loafers as Michael Gove in an Aberdeen nightclub. With an eye on saving spondulicks by buying in bulk, I splashed out on a box of wine and stuffed an armful of loaves in the freezer.

Toasting to weight loss with… toast? (Photo: successo images/Shutterstock)

Let me tell you, I’m going back for a refund on this stupid wine box. It says on it: “Once opened, will last for six weeks.” It was empty after three days. Not that I fared better with the bread.

I was having it as toast, crusty with soup, and the back of the loaf to mop up the casserole. I put on three pounds. There’s a lesson here. Be careful of dodgy claims by Hovis witnesses.

Patel isn’t sitting Priti

Many MPs are careful when they are asked whether Home Secretary Priti Patel should stay in her job. She does seem to be in one stooshie after another. She’s had to clarify so many remarks, to use the politicians’ code for telling possible porkies.

When, amongst other boobs, she told Tory grandee Sir Roger Gale in parliament that the UK Government had set up an immigration centre in Calais when, in fact, refugees were still being sent to Paris, he flipped.

Home Secretary Priti Patel (Photo: James Veysey/Shutterstock)

Sir Roger and others now want Patel out the door. She’s been too slow to act in a huge human tragedy, hasn’t acted at all in some cases, and has to be pushed to do, well, anything, they say.

It is most unkind, but now politicians from all sides and some national newspapers have taken to calling her Priti Vacant. That’s Rotten.

I looked vacant myself when I first heard about Our House, starring Martin Compston. I thought they’d made a TV series about our near neighbour. That would be madness, I thought.

You see, the guy who lives a few doors down from us is called Richard Rowse. So I wonder? Does that make him R Rowse, in the middle of our street?


Iain Maciver is a former broadcaster and news reporter from the Outer Hebrides

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