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Neil Morrissey on 'The Syndicate': 'An opportunity arises and Frank takes it!'

The Syndicate Neil Morrissey Gaynor Faye
Neil Morrissey with Gaynor Faye in the new series of The Syndicate. (Image credit: BBC1)

We all ponder on what we’d do if we won millions on the lottery. And that dream looks set to become a reality for another group of lucky friends in The Syndicate Season 4.

The first three series of Kay Mellor’s popular drama saw supermarket colleagues, hospital workers and staff at a crumbling stately home all scoop the jackpot. This fourth series sees five kennel workers in Leeds win big — they just have to get their hands on the cash!

When the owners of Woodvale Kennels announce they’re selling the business to a large corporate chain, the staff are devastated to learn they may soon be out of a job. This is devastating news for Keeley (Katherine Rose Morley), Jake (Kieran Urquhart), Colette (Emily Head), Roxy (Taj Atwal) and Gemma (Liberty Hobbs), who all depend on their low pay to get them from month to month.

The Syndicate Taj Keiran Liberty Emily Kath.

Meet the kennel workers: Roxy (Taj Atwal), Jake (Kieran Urquhart), Gemma (Liberty Hobbs), Colette (Emily Head) and Keeley (Katherine Rose Morley).  (Image credit: BBC1)

As the staff’s future is thrown in doubt, the weekly Mercury Millions lottery looks like the only lifeline to gambling addict Keeley. So when she takes the syndicate’s lottery ticket to the local newsagent to check, charming Frank (Neil Morrissey) — who runs the shop with fiancee Cheryl (Gaynor Faye) — tells her she’s won... £500!

Keeley’s ecstatic about the win — but when the syndicate then discover Roxy’s numbers that week were alarmingly close to the winning lottery draw, they realise they may have won a LOT more than 500 quid… a jackpot of £27 million!

The friends conclude that Frank must have made an error with their ticket — they just need to find him to sort everything out. But what if it wasn’t a mistake?

We chatted to Neil Morrissey, 58, to find out more…

Neil Morrissey on his character Frank…

“The minute you meet Frank, it’s obvious there are flaws; he’s a gambler and he’s the kind of guy who dyes his hair to appear a bit younger. Frank has an Irish wolfhound called Duke, who he absolutely adores, and it’s a love that is detrimental to his other relationships, particularly with Cheryl. Duke plays a huge part in Frank’s actions at the beginning of the drama.”

Neil Morrissey on writer Kay Mellor…

“Kay writes about real people dealing with real issues and The Syndicate always explores how a massive amount of money significantly changes people’s lives. An opportunity arises and Frank takes it — and it changes his life and the lives of everyone around him.”

The Syndicate Neil Morrissey newsagent

Frank tells Keeley that the syndicate have won £500... but is everything as it seems? (Image credit: BBC1)

Neil Morrissey on working with dogs…

“I love dogs. Our wonderful wolf hound in the series is a beautiful, beautiful dog; very friendly, very responsive and loves people. I’ve had my first lick on the face. I can understand Frank’s love! My dog in this is a big beast — when he stands on his back legs, he’s head and shoulders above me and I’m 6’2’’. He’s THAT big!"

Neil Morrissey on working with Gaynor Faye...

“I first met Gaynor about 30 years ago when I was doing A Passionate Woman for Kay [Gaynor’s mother] on stage in London’s West End and I met her on the opening night and over the years we’ve run into each other but never worked together. Gaynor is a brilliant, consummate actress, very beautiful and she’s so easy to work with. We have a natural rapport.”

The Syndicate Gaynor Faye plays Cheryl

Gaynor Faye plays Cheryl, Frank's long-suffering fiancee. (Image credit: BBC1)

Neil Morrissey on filming in Monaco…

“Monaco’s a beautiful place and we’re staying in a place not far outside Monaco because it’s just not financially feasible to put us all up in Monaco. It’s a wonderful and odd place and the playground of the very, very rich. Probably the richest people in Europe!"

Neil Morrissey on what he’d do with a BIG lottery win…

“I’d make sure my loved ones were all fine then probably just sit somewhere and read a lot more books. I haven’t got any major ambitions. I don’t want to go and buy a castle in Tuscany or anything!"

The Syndicate group shot

The Syndicate is back for a new series. (Image credit: BBC1)

The Syndicate returns Tuesday 30 March, 2021, at 9pm on BBC1.