Northern Lights (TV series)

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Northern Lights
Created by Bob Mills
Jeff Pope
Developed by Bob Mills
Jeff Pope
Starring The Armstrongs:
Robson Green (Colin)
Nicola Stephenson (Jackie)
Linzey Cocker (Brooke)
Lee Worswick (Liam)
Alex Rimmer (Leyton)
The Scotts:
Mark Benton (Howie)
Siân Reeves (Pauline)
Maisie Breakenridge (Victoria)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 8 (Incl. Pilot and 1 special)
Production
Executive producer(s) Andy Harries
Jeff Pope
Producer(s) Bob Mills
Jeff Pope
Spencer Campbell
Camera setup Multi Camera Set-Up
Running time 60 minutes (with commercials), approx 47-50 minutes (without commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Picture format Widescreen SDTV
Audio format Stereo
Original run 21 December 2004  – 21 December 2008

Northern Lights is a 2006 comedy-drama broadcast on ITV starring Mark Benton and Robson Green. It is a spin-off of the 2004 Christmas special Christmas Lights.

A sequel, City Lights, was broadcast in 2007. Also a Christmas special, Clash of the Santas, was broadcast in December 2008. It featured Colin and Howie taking a trip to Lithuania to represent the United Kingdom in a Santa convention. The main problem with this is that miserable Howie is picked as Santa, while true Christmas believer Colin is relegated to the role of cheerleading elf.

Cast[edit]

Colin Armstrong - Robson Green The phrase 'one of the lads' was made for Colin. His perfect night would be a kick-about on the football pitch, a pint and a 'craic' with his mates and then going for some nookie with his wife Jackie. Colin would walk over hot coals for his best friend Howard, but he can't help being a little narked at his new-found success at work. He's got a bit of a chip on his shoulder about always being seen as the joker and therefore not taken seriously and so he is fiercely competitive with his mate. Very happily married, he and Jackie have three children, Brooke, Liam and Leyton.

Howard Scott - Mark Benton Howie is both dependable and loyal - a 'gentle giant' who has always been there to pick up the pieces as Colin storms through life. He and Colin share the same childlike sense of humour and silly sense of competitiveness. Howie sometimes falls under Colin's shadow but he's no pushover and is more than capable of sticking up for himself when needs be. Recently promoted to management at work, he's keen to better himself and provide the luxuries of life for his wife Pauline and baby daughter Victoria.

Jackie Armstrong - Nicola Stephenson Jackie is fiery, kind and practical. She and Colin are the type of couple you want to be – good friends who also fancy the pants off each other. Jackie is incredibly close to her sister Pauline and they enjoy living next door to each other and combining their family's lives. When Colin and Howie are daggers drawn this can lead to the sisters' diplomatic skills being stretched to extremes, but the girls always stay united despite their husbands' antics.

Pauline Scott - Sian Reeves Pauline is a little quieter than her sister and has a traditional outlook on life. She is a tower of strength to them all and incredibly protective of her brood; she would fight tooth and nail to defend them against attack. She is torn between enjoying the perks that Howie's salary now allows and being unsettled by the changes it also brings. She gave birth to baby Victoria 18 months ago and as the series starts is on a quest to get her and Howie's sex life back on track.

Brooke Armstrong - Linzey Cocker Brooke is the eldest of the three children and is the only daughter, she soon get a boyfriend, but tries to hide it from her mum, Brooke is like a mother to her brothers,

Eric Foulkes - Keith Clifford Father to Jackie and Pauline, Eric has recently retired as foreman at Sherpa Freight where his sons-in-law still work and is fondly remembered by staff. He now splits his time between babysitting for the two families and his allotment. Towards the end of the series it comes to light that Eric is more of a dark horse than we thought.

Nigel Cockburn - James Midgley Colin's nemesis and a prize prat - Cockburn is humourless, ambitious and highly focussed on climbing the career ladder at Sherpa Freight. But will the winning combination of Howie and Colin get in his way?

Len Guthrie - Russell Dixon Old-school Len is often the voice of reason to counter Cockburn's management style. Respectful of his hard working staff, he is a champion of both Howie and Colin over the course of the series.

Episodes[edit]

# Title Original airdate Production code
1 "Christmas Lights" 21 December 2004 (2004-12-21) #NL-P
In the first episode we are introduced to best mates: Howie Scott and Colin Armstrong. Both are workers at Sherpa Freight, but when Howie gets promoted to manager a rivalry develops between the friends. A rivalry that causes the two to attempt to outdo each other by decorating their houses with Christmas lights!
2 "The Holiday" 16 January 2006 (2006-01-16) #NL101
Colin & Jackie splash out on a holiday to Florida but then Colin fails an alcohol test and gets fired from Sherpa! Meanwhile, Pauline feels neglected by Howie. And, Collin's daughter Brooke gets a new boyfriend.
3 "The Driver" 23 January 2006 (2006-01-23) #NL102
Colin is still job hunting so he takes work at the local taxi firm. But he finds himself being mugged by teenagers, cheated by an OAP, and terrorised by a 12-year-old, and when Brooke goes missing, Collin fears the worst. Meanwhile, Howie is offered his job back, which causes a rift between him and Collin.
4 "The Reunion" 30 January 2006 (2006-01-30) #NL103
Colin & Howie go to a school reunion at Newcastle and Howie hooks up with an old flame. Colin is torn between supporting his friend or telling Pauline, and Howie must decide who he really loves.
5 "The Match" 6 February 2006 (2006-02-06) #NL104
To show that he can be more than just a van driver, Colin becomes the new captain of the Sherpa Freight's football team, but when the power goes to his head, he begins losing friends, especially Howie. Meanwhile, the landlord of the local pub takes a shine to Jackie when she joins the snooker team.
6 "The Fall of the Father" 13 February 2006 (2006-02-13) #NL105
Colin's father dies and his father-in-law has a heart attack. Pauline and Jackie discover some secrets concerning their father and Sherpa receptionist Jean. Meanwhile, Colin's brother Patrick arrives. But tension rises between the two brothers, with Howie stuck in the middle.
7 "The Welsh Adventure" 20 February 2006 (2006-02-20) #NL106
Collin & Howie take the family to the countryside for the weekend. Jackie & Pauline find out they have a long lost sister, who turns out to be a lesbian! Meanwhile, Colin & Howie head off for a day of fishing. But the trip soon relocates to the local pub, where they make a big impression on the locals. The boys get drunk and disturb a shotgun-wielding farmer who attempts to hunt them down!
8 "Behind The Scenes" 10 April 2007 (2007-04-10) BTS-NL
This special behind the scenes look at the series, takes a peek behind the camera and sees that making of Northern Lights!
9 "The Shooting" 11 April 2007 (2007-04-11)
After witnessing the shooting of a physcotic gangster, Colin & Howie are forced into witness protection, and everyone is forced to start a new life. But Sweeney, the gangster in question, sends his two faithful henchmen after the best-friends. Meanwhile, Pauline cannot bear to leave her life behind - and her secret lover.
10 "The New Life" 18 April 2007 (2007-04-18)
The two families are moved to a safe house in London, where Jackie discovers a dark secret from Colin's past that could rip the couple apart forever, whilst Howie fears that his marriage could be on the verge of ending as Pauline blames him for everything that has happened, and Brooke goes to extreme measures to contact her boyfriend. Meanwhile, DS Gary Tate's gambling debts make him the perfect man to entrap Howie and Colin for Sweeny, Hatton and Gully.
11 "The End of the Line" 25 April 2007 (2007-04-25)
Both Colin & Howies marriage's are falling apart whilst Colin manages to win Jackie back, Pauline makes a heartbreaking decision that will change the two families for good, and after another argument, she seeks solace in the arms of a familiar face. Meanwhile, Sweeney's sends his heavies to put pressure on DS Gary Tate, but will he give them the information that could seal Howie and Collin's fate?
12 "The Career Path" 2 May 2007 (2007-05-02)
Colin & Howie becomes traffic wardens and Howie gains a new admirer. Jackie is unable to have sex with Colin because she cannot forget about his ex wife, so Collin tries to spice up their love life. Meanwhile, Pauline struggles to resist DS Gary Tate after their passionate night, and the pair begin an affair, which convinces Pauline that there is no way back for her and Howie's marriage. Heartbroken by this, Howie leaves the safehouse, which results in tension between Collin and Pauline.
13 "The Capture" 9 May 2007 (2007-05-09)
Colin and a depressed Howie launch a gardening business. Collin lets slip to Howie that Pauline may have a new man. Howie heads off to confront her mystery man. At the same time, Hatton and Scully decide to gatecrash Pauline and Tate's sex session, sparking off a chain of events that leaves everyone's life in danger.
14 "The Final Showdown" 16 May 2007 (2007-05-16)
Colin & Howie are being held hostage by Hatton and Scully. they also capture Gary Tate and order him to kill Howie and Colin. Sweeney comes face to face with his enemies. Can the duo escape their toughest adventure yet? Meanwhile, Pauline's world comes crashing down around her as she faces the consequences of her actions, whilst Jackie receives life-changing news.
15 "Clash of the Santas" 21 December 2008 (2008-12-21)

External links[edit]