May Contain Nuts

Thursday, 18 June 2009, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

In programme two, while Alice has hoodwinked school bosses by dressing as her daughter Molly and sitting the entrance exam in place of her, even she struggles with some of the questions.

So she resorts to copying the answers to the maths exam from Ruby Osafo – an academically gifted girl who from a nearby council estate.

This desperate act catapults her into a crisis she never anticipated and she is forced to face the consequences of her actions as well as her children’s future.

Molly surprises the family’s new friends by winning a scholarship to the school but Ruby, who helped Alice pass the exam, misses out on a place.

With Ruby’s family unable to afford the school fees, Alice begins to feel guilty that in an effort to do the best for her daughter, she has inadvertently ruined the chances of a more deserving child.

However Alice has more than her conscience to contend with, since uber-competitive yummy mummy Ffion Russell, whose own child, Bronwyn, is still on the waiting list, is highly suspicious of Molly’s scholarship and determined to uncover the truth.

Thursday, 11 June 2009, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

May Contain Nuts is a two-part comedy drama for ITV1 starring Shirley Henderson, Darren Boyd, Elizabeth Berrington, and Sophie Thompson. This adaptation of John O’Farrell’s best-selling novel is created by multi-award winning Mark Burton (Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Madagascar, Chicken Run).

School can be tough these days: bullying, back-stabbing, competing and cheating… and that’s just the parents. Meet the Chaplin family. Alice (Shirley Henderson – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Dirty Filthy Love) and David (Darren Boyd – The Jane Show, Green Wing, Smack The Pony) have moved with their three young children to a safe, leafy, gated community in South West London.

Within minutes of meeting their new neighbours – uber yummy mummy Ffion (Elizabeth Berrington – Drop Dead Gorgeous, Vera Drake, My Wonderful Life) and her acerbic but emasculated husband Philip (Tony Gardner – Lead Balloon, My Parents are Aliens) – they’re catapulted into a world where parental anxiety about their children’s education has reached fever pitch and where parents will stop at nothing to ensure their child gets a place at a ‘the best’ school. Even if this means getting a job as the school secretary, as fellow neurotic mum Sarah (Sophie Thompson – EastEnders, A Room with a View, Fat Slags) secretly does, when she realises her daughter has no hope of passing the entrance exam to prestigious Chelsea College for Girls.

In a desperate effort to ensure their kids don’t get left behind, Alice and David panic and start their children on a regime of intensive tutoring, healthy eating and a relentless schedule of extracurricular activities. But when their daughter Molly fails the mock exam, Alice resorts to extreme measures – namely dressing up as her own 11-year-old daughter and taking the entrance exam in her place.

Further casting includes: Mona Hammond, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Ian Lindsay, and Justin Edwards.

May Contain Nuts is produced by Lucy Robinson (Confessions of a Diary Secretary, Hustle, Perfect World) and directed by award-winning John Henderson (Hyperdrive, The Borrowers, Spitting Image). It was executive produced by Sophie Clarke-Jervoise and Geoffrey Perkins.

Lucy Robinson said: “Every parent worries about their children’s education, it’s a national obsession. With parents moving house to try to get into the right catchment area, financially bankrupting themselves to pay exorbitant school fees or even finding ‘God’ in the hope of getting their child into a faith school, it’s also a subject that’s ripe for satire.

“We’re not making a judgment on any educational system, but we are pointing out that social pressure, fear and blind panic aren’t the best basis for choosing a school for your child”.

In programme one modern mum Alice Chaplin moves to London with her husband David and their three young children. Alice soon falls in with uber-yummy mummy Ffion and her crowd of backstabbing, competitive friends who are all vying to get their little princesses into top private school Chelsea College.

But when Alice’s daughter Molly falls behind academically and she worries that she will not pass the entrance exam, Alice resorts to extreme measures.

With help from her husband, Alice dresses up as their 11-year-old daughter and takes the entrance exam for her, while Molly does the exam at home under the guidance of her father.

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