Clocking Off

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Clocking Off
BBC Store download cover art
Created byPaul Abbott
Written byPaul Abbott
Danny Brocklehurst
Jan McVerry
John Fay
StarringSiobhan Finneran
Philip Glenister
Wil Johnson
Diane Parish
Jason Merrells
Lesley Sharp
Sarah Lancashire
Christine Tremarco
Christopher Eccleston
Theme music composerMurray Gold
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series4
No. of episodes27 (list of episodes)
Executive producersNicola Shindler
Gareth Neame
ProducerJuliet Charlesworth
Production locationManchester
Running time60 minutes
Production companyRed Production Company
DistributorIND Media
Original networkBBC One
Picture format16:9
Audio formatStereo
Original release23 January 2000 (2000-01-23) –
6 April 2003 (2003-04-06)

Clocking Off is a British television drama series which was broadcast on BBC One for four series from 2000 to 2003. It was produced for the BBC by the independent Red Production Company, and created by Paul Abbott.[1]

It was effectively an anthology programme, following the lives of a group of workers at a Manchester textile factory, with each episode focusing on the home life of a different character. Well-known actors who appeared in the series included Christopher Eccleston, Sophie Okonedo, Philip Glenister, John Simm, Lesley Sharp, Siobhan Finneran, Emma Cunniffe, Diane Parish, David Morrissey, Ricky Tomlinson, Julian Rhind-Tutt, William Ash, Ben Crompton, Jack Deam, Jack P. Shepherd, Tina O'Brien, Jason Merrells, Pam Ferris, Wil Johnson, Ashley Jensen, Susan Cookson, Mark Benton, Sarah Lancashire, Crissy Rock, Marshall Lancaster, Marc Warren, Claire Sweeney and Maxine Peake.

The series was highly acclaimed by the critics, winning the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series in 2001. However, over the course of the following two years Abbott's work on the series decreased as he moved on to other projects. Nonetheless, every series was nominated for a BAFTA and other writers including Danny Brocklehurst, John Fay and Jan McVerry wrote successful stand-alone episodes. The programme finally ended, after a series with no Abbott scripts at all, in 2003. The BBC said the programme was axed following declining ratings, but creator Abbott said the programme's demise was down to "a lack of writers able to come up with stories good enough to carry the stand alone episodes."[2]

Twenty-seven episodes were produced across the four series, and in 2004 the first series was released on DVD. In 2015, the first series was released on DVD in Australia[3] and was made available for purchase via the BBC Store.[4]


Series 1[edit]

Series 2[edit]

Series 3[edit]

Series 4[edit]


Series 1 (2000)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Ratings (in millions)[5]
Sourced by BARB.
Original airdate
1 "The Leaches' Story"John StricklandPaul Abbott9.4023 January 2000 (2000-01-23)
Family man Stuart Leach (John Simm) turns up after disappearing thirteen months previously, claiming he has no memory of the events of his disappearance. His brother, Martin (Jason Merrells) struggles to come to terms with his brother's reappearance, but soon sets about finding out exactly what happened to his sibling.
2 "Yvonne's Story"Geoffrey SaxPaul Abbott8.1230 January 2000 (2000-01-30)
Machinist Yvonne (Sarah Lancashire) is angered when she is thrown out of the house where she is living with her partner. But her decision to burn the house down in a fit of rage threatens to end in tragedy as she is unaware that her three young children are sleeping upstairs.
3 "KT's Story"John StricklandPaul Abbott8.176 February 2000 (2000-02-06)
KT (Andrew Sheridan) finds himself being seduced by Katherine (Christine Tremarco), the wife of factory owner Mack (Philip Glenister). His initial surprise turns to disgust when he discovers that she may have alternative motives for the affair.
4 "Steve's Story"Geoffrey SaxPaul Abbott7.0113 February 2000 (2000-02-13)
Steve (Wil Johnson) tries to patch things up with his wife, Sylvia (Diane Parish), after being unfaithful to her. But on the night of their wedding anniversary, they are targeted by an armed burglar, and the police seem more determined to victimise them than catch the perpetrator.
5 "Trudy's Story"Sarah HardingPaul Abbott8.4020 February 2000 (2000-02-20)
Trudy (Lesley Sharp) is devastated when her father dies following a long-term illness. Deciding to change her life for the better, she opts to have plastic surgery in an attempt to improve her sex life. But the trauma of the surgery leads her to accidentally reveal Katherine's affair with KT.
6 "Katherine and Mack's Story"Sarah HardingPaul Abbott8.2227 February 2000 (2000-02-27)
Mack and Katherine's marriage finally hits breaking point, and in an attempt to sever all ties, Katherine asks Mack to buy her half of the factory or risk losing it to his biggest competitor. With a 200% rent rise on the cards, Mack realises it could be make or break for the factory.

Series 2 (2001)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Ratings (in millions)[5]
Sourced by BARB.
Original airdate
1 "Kev's Story"Ashley PearcePaul Abbott6.242 April 2001 (2001-04-02)
Kev (Jack Deam) is initially pleased when workmate Brian (Paul Oldham) moves in across the street. But when Kev inadvertently captures video footage of Brian looking at images of children on the internet, he begins to wonder if his old friend could actually be a paedophile.
2 "Bev's Story"Ashley PearceJan McVerry6.419 April 2001 (2001-04-09)
Bev (Lindsey Coulson), a lonely single mother working part time as a machinist, becomes attracted to Mal, a service technician. But as their relationship grows, and she moves in with his two children, relations begin to become strained, and Bev is forced to fake a pregnancy to keep Mal on side.
3 "Freda's Story"Tom ShanklandPaul Abbott6.8223 April 2001 (2001-04-23)
Freda (Joan Kempson) is struggling to balance her job with looking after her grandchildren, but is helped along the way by both financial and emotional support from her friend and colleague, Julie. She seeks out their long-lost father, Tony, but he refuses to provide any help. But when Tony is later arrested on a drugs charge, he sees the children as a way of avoiding jail - and kidnaps them.
4 "Barry's Story"Tom ShanklandJohn Fay5.6230 April 2001 (2001-04-30)
Barry (Steve Jackson) is elated when he collects a windfall sum of £20,000 from a bet on the football pools. Trudy (Lesley Sharp)'s sister Janice takes an immediate shine to Barry, and they agree to go out on a date - but Trudy is convinced that Janice can only be after one thing.
5 "Ronnie's Story"Tom ShanklandDanny Brocklehurst6.627 May 2001 (2001-05-07)
Factory truck driver Ronnie (Ricky Tomlinson) organises the hijack of his own lorry in order to secure compensation to fund the care of wife, Jess, who suffers from MS. As he prepares to flee with lover Trish, the police catch up with one of the robbers, and Ronnie's plan threatens to be found out.
6 "The Lads' Story"Omar MadhaPaul Abbott6.8614 May 2001 (2001-05-14)
Ade (Tony Mooney), Barney (Ben Crompton), Kev (Jack Deam) and Nick (William Ash) are caught up in a brawl with a group of drunks, during which, someone is knifed. When the story makes the morning news, the lads begin to wonder which of them could have been responsible.
7 "Martin's Story"Omar MadhaPaul Abbott6.2821 May 2001 (2001-05-21)
Martin (Jason Merrells) decides to set up on his own, taking over the haulage department as an independent contractor. His relationship with Trudy (Lesley Sharp) is also coming on leaps and bounds, much to Mack's furious jealousy, until his former sister-in-law, Sue, turns up - eight months pregnant - claiming that he is the father.

Series 3 (2002)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Ratings (in millions)[5]
Sourced by BARB.
Original airdate
1 "Franny's Story"Nigel DouglasPaul Abbott5.9631 January 2002 (2002-01-31)
Factory cook Franny (David Morrissey) is distraught when his troubled sister Terri commits suicide. Following her death, he discovers that she had a child several years ago who is now in foster care. He sets about finding her father, Jason (Marc Warren), but after he refuses to become involved, Franny decides to adopt the child himself.
2 "Tasha's Story"John DuthieJan McVerry4.747 February 2002 (2002-02-07)
Tasha (Katie Blake), a textiles design student, tries to become one of the girls - but is alienated when she tries to offer them cocaine. Mack, however, is excited by eager young Tash and the pair soon strike up a relationship. But their night of passion leads Tasha into make a shocking decision.
3 "Mark's Story"Nigel DouglasMatt Greenhalgh4.7914 February 2002 (2002-02-14)
Mark (James Murray)'s first day at the factory goes off without a hitch - until he is picked up by the police. Soon, his new workmates discover that his past is not quite what he seems, and that he is hiding some deadly secrets.
4 "Julie's Story"John DuthieDanny BrocklehurstN/A21 February 2002 (2002-02-21)
Julie (Siobhan Finneran) is offered a shock proposal by her older brother Robert - fly out to live with him and his family in Hong Kong. But despite being desperate to change her life, Julie is drawn to new factory worker Vicky (Sharon Duce), and the pair seem to strike it off.
5 "Jenny's Story"Nigel DouglasDanny BrocklehurstN/A28 February 2002 (2002-02-28)
Forklift driver Jenny (Sophie Okonedo) is preparing to marry Sam (Nick Sidi), brother of her best friend Suzie (Nicola Stephenson). But when heating contractor Neil turns up at the factory, he corners Jenny and threatens her in front of her colleagues, unaware that Neil is her former brother-in-law, and that Jenny holds an entirely secret past that none of her friends know about.
6 "Alan's Story"David JacksonPeter BowkerN/A7 March 2002 (2002-03-07)
Alan (Robert Pugh)'s decision to have a vasectomy unveils a shocking secret - that he has a rare condition meaning that he has been infertile since birth. Subsequently, he realises that his two teenage sons - including Chris (Ciaran Griffiths) - cannot be his own.
7 "Gary's Story"David JacksonPaul Abbott4.6214 March 2002 (2002-03-14)
Gary (Marshall Lancaster) receives a letter claiming he has been left money in his father's will - but as far as he knows, his father is alive and well. He soon discovers that he and his brother Stephen (Lee Ingleby) were adopted. But his shock turns to distraction when he becomes the victim of a series of unexplained events.
8 "Mack's Story"David JacksonJohn FayN/A21 March 2002 (2002-03-21)
Mack's continued run of bad luck hits breaking point when the arrival of his brother, Eddie (Craig Kelly), causes problems at work. The increasing pressure from the workforce following a flu epidemic, and the demands of his new girlfriend Miranda (Katy Carmichael), prove to be Mack's undoing. Can he hold on to his beloved factory?

Series 4 (2003)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Ratings (in millions)[5]
Sourced by BARB.
Original airdate
1 "Suzie's Story"Brian GrantDanny Brocklehurst5.462 March 2003 (2003-03-02)
Suzie (Nicola Stephenson) ditches her husband-to-be at the altar, claiming that she has slept with her old flame, bad boy Stuart. But the situation causes tensions in the workplace, and the increasing strain on her father's health leads to tragedy.
2 "Pat's Story"Brian PercivalDanny BrocklehurstN/A9 March 2003 (2003-03-09)
Pat (Pam Ferris) takes on the mountainous task of getting the workforce on side following Mack's departure. But her success at work becomes plagued by problems at home, as she is forced to face up to the problems caused by her husband Roy (Keith Barron), a compulsive gambler and alcoholic, when the bailiffs arrive.
3 "Maya's Story"Brian GrantBill GallagherN/A16 March 2003 (2003-03-16)
When Maya (Branka Katić) accidentally hits Kev (Jack Deam) with her car, he finds himself suffering from epileptic fits, and is no longer able to drive or operate machinery. Maya, stricken with guilt, finds herself drawn into Kev's downward spiral.
4 "Colin's Story"Brian GrantRichard ZajdlicN/A23 March 2003 (2003-03-23)
Colin (Mark Benton) attacks a nurse who has been bullying his mentally ill brother Mark at the care home where he lives. But the police start to believe that Mark is to blame for leaving the man in a coma, Colin is forced to face his demons and come clean.
5 "Grace and Faz's Story"Brian GrantJohn FayN/A30 March 2003 (2003-03-30)
Grace (Lisa Millett) finds herself attracted to Faz (Sushil Chudasama), but Faz's father does not approve of his son mixing with his white co-workers. Grace's father is furious at the thought of his daughter having a mixed-race relationship, and decides to take matters into his own hands.
6 "Freda and Pat's Story"Brian PercivalRichard ZajdlicN/A6 April 2003 (2003-04-06)
Freda (Joan Kempson) has recently been promoted to supervisor and found love with builder Kenny, but when she feels slighted by Pat (Pam Ferris), she starts a malicious campaign against the factory manager that spirals out of control.


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  5. ^ a b c d "Viewing Data — Top Tens". BARB. Retrieved 6 March 2014.

External links[edit]