| A good cast, intelligent scripts and a joy to behold.
Freddie Patterson is the independent man, an owner of a string of hairdressing salons who is elected to the local council in a London borough where he holds the balance of power between the Labour and Conservative factions. A little like Mr Smith going to Washington, he shows himself to be not as simple as his opponents wish, and usually manages to thwart their schemes. In his business and political life, he's assisted by his wife (the very lovely Mel Martin), his bookie/restauranteur, a gritty local journalist and a few others. The unfortunate villains are the Labour and Tory leaders on the council, who set aside their differences to work together with the aim of nobbling Freddie.
Like Arthur from "Minder", Freddie ends up ahead of the game, but mostly due to his smart footwork rather than dumb luck. And even if he does come up smelling of roses week after week, you can forgive this in such a slick production.