The comedian Jim Howick plays a tech nerd who becomes a millionaire in new Channel 4 comedy Loaded...
Everyone has wistfully imagined how they’d spend their cash if they ever won the lottery, but more money just means more problems for a group of pals who become millionaires overnight in new eight-part comedy drama Loaded.
Tech nerds Josh (Jim Howick), Leon (Samuel Anderson), Ewan (Jonny Sweet) and Watto (Nick Helm) pocket £14m each after selling their video game company to an American firm, yet soon find that owning a Ferrari and taking baths in Dom Perignon aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Written by Jon Brown, who has shows like Fresh Meat and Misfits on his CV, this tale of friendship and gluttony follows four lads as they achieve the dream they’ve spent years working for, only to find it turn into an awkward nightmare.
“It’s like the anti-Entourage,” says Jim Howick, who was last seen playing spectacularly against type as a slimy rapist in Broadchurch. “There’s something quintessentially British about the way they splash the cash and while Leon has the right idea, the rest of them don’t have a clue.”
Leon, who’s played by former Doctor Who star Samuel Anderson, is most at ease with his newfound wealth, but Josh and the others soon realise money can’t solve all their problems.
“Josh is hardwired for neuroses,” Jim continues. “His big splurge in the first episode is a new pair of jeans. It’s like if Mark and Jeremy from Peep Show won the Lottery. I don’t think he allows himself to enjoy it because at the back of his mind he expects it’s all going to be taken away.”
“I suppose I’m a bit like Josh because I don’t have a clue what I would do with all that money. The biggest luxury item I’ve ever bought myself was a cider press and I got one batch out of it before giving up because it was really hard work. I feel like I need to make a big purchase now!”
The boys spend much of their first day as millionaires visiting all the people who screwed them over or didn’t believe in them, while breaking the news of their new success with the help of a barbershop quartet, but business soon intervenes.
Soon an old pal called ‘Ross the Grumpy Druid’ emerges from the woodwork saying Watto stole the idea for the boys’ hit computer game while high on his magic mushrooms and he wants a cut of the money.
The American firm who bought the lads’ start-up sends over a hotshot business executive called Casey (Mary McCormack, West Wing) who quickly makes it clear the hard work has only just begun.
“They’re terrified of Casey,” explained Jim. “But she knows they’re a bunch of nerds so she taps into that by telling them they’ve sold out to the Empire and that she’s a sexy Darth Vader who will whip them into shape. The worst thing is that she laughs at their spending, because she’s seen it all before. She cuts Leon’s Ferrari down straight away – ‘Millionaires don’t buy Ferraris any more!’ – which is quite funny.”
Casey isn’t the only American hoping Loaded can deliver the goods, with US broadcaster AMC co-producing the series with Channel 4. But can the tale of four bumbling Brits hit the right note across the pond?
“It was amazing when I heard AMC were involved,” said Jim. “I think it’s going out a month after it goes out here but they’re planning to put it on after Better Call Saul, so it’s a great slot. It’s definitely the biggest audience any of us will have had watching us as AMC get huge numbers.”
Loaded begins this week on Channel 4