No Angels Series 1, Channel 4

by | May 4, 2004 | All, Reviews

Drama series following the lives of four twentysomething nurses – Anji, Beth, Kate and Lia – at Leeds hospital St Margaret’s. At work, they refuse to defer to the middle class male doctors; outside work, they play hard, do drugs, have lots of sex, and live by the motto: “don’t bring your work home with you, you’re not paid enough”.

Producer Helen Gregory says No Angels is an examination of modern women, juggling life, love and relationships, with the demands of a career. “We were always clear that the girls should be four very different characters. The drama demonstrates that there are totally different ways to be a woman now, and these four girls are great examples of the way women can make it up as they go along. There’s no one type of nurse in this show, but they are all likeable in their own way and embody a kind of humour that is irreverent and mischievous.”

Each episode features the latest daft directive from The Ruling Body of St Margaret’s to the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU). In the first episode, for example, nurses are told to wear plastic sheeting beneath their uniforms to avoid doctor-distracting visible panty lines.

In the second series, Anji falls for junior doctor Callum (or Little Lord Fauntleroy, according to Beth). Beth falls for a posh eco-warrior who stands to inherit a fortune when his elderly, sick mother dies. Kate declares war on Clare, the world’s most annoying Ward Sister. Lia wonders whether she wants to stay in the NHS.

Made by World Productions in and around Leeds.

Writers: Toby Whithouse (episodes 1,5,10), Jane English (2), Kate Gartside (3), Sarah Phelps (4, 8, 9), Chris Dunlop (6,9), Ben Richards (7)

The cast

Sunetra Sarker as Anji, the fun-loving health care assistant who is due to enter an arranged marriage to childhood friend Ajesh. The youngest and poorest paid of the group.

Jo Joyner as promiscuous Beth, who is keen to land a rich lover and is the laziest nurse around. Has regular conflicts with Kate – and a secret from the past that re-emerges

Louise Delamere as sharp-tongued ward sister Lia, who was abandoned by her mother and is raising 12-year-old daughter Emma alone

Kaye Wragg as Kate, the acting sister on the male-dominated medical assessment unit, who always falls for doctors. At the age of 28, she’s decided it’s time to have fun.

Derek Riddell as sexy senior house doctor Jamie, the nemesis of the wild nurses with an infantile sense of humour. He gradually gets close to Kate

Francis Magee as bullying senior consultant ‘McManus, who prefers playing golf to patient care. Tends to ignore bureaucracy and the hospital administration

James Frost as Callum, a recently graduated doctor, who lacks confidence and is intimidated by the doctors and the nurses. Develops a friendship with Anji

Mark Aiken as clinical services manager Paul Merchant, a newcomer to the hospital, who lays down the law to the doctors. Captivated by Beth as soon as he sees her.

Charlotte Leach as Emma

Lynn Ferguson as Stella

Emil Marwa as Anji’s fiancé Ajesh

Judy Flynn as matron ‘Grizzly’ Adams

Episode guide

Series one

1 – Kate abandons her moral restraint and has sex with doctor Jamie, but then she becomes obsessed with him. When he ignores one of her many text messages, a tragic death results and he pins the blame on her – getting a thump in return. Meanwhile, Beth gives straightlaced Callum a tab of Ecstasy, but he collapses and she has to drag him home; Lia has to hide her daughter in a store-cupboard at the disco; and Anji has to rid herself of a persistent one-night stand.

2 – Anji worries that her spree of sex – including an encounter with psychiatrist Jack Gardener (Nicholas Sidi) – could jeopardise her future marriage to Ajesh. Male nurse Carl (Lee Ingleby) makes a mix-up with false teeth and lodges a sexual harassment complaint against the girls, and Grizzly begs Kate to return.

3 – Lia struggles to juggle being promoted to ward sister with being a good mum to sulky daughter Emma, who has been reprimanded by her teacher for re-enacting scenes from Sex And The City. Meanwhile, Beth gets mischievous with an ambulance chaser, Kate returns to the ward following her anger management course, and the girls discover Beth fakes her orgasms – to the tune of Celine Dion.

4 – Beth finds herself a wealthy man, complete with good job, platinum credit card and sports car, only to have her plans dashed by a troublesome patient. Callum and Anji strike up an improbable friendship, and Kate ignores the housework to go on a shopping spree.

5 – Anji’s career is under threat after she messes up while trying to help the new registrar Jane (Amanda Drew), a lesbian who is the subject of stupid jokes from the men. The other girls plan revenge on Jane, but get upset when they realsie they’ve gone too far. Kate has a fling with morgue attendant Ray (Steve Edge), and Beth steps into the media spotlight in the hospital’s bid to spread good news.

6 – Beth discovers that her boyfriend Paul (Mark Aiken) is to be the new hospital boss and is planning a shake-up. Callum is finding life difficult with his macho colleagues and he makes a deadly error. Kate is horrified when she sees Beth having sex with Jamie and she goes to extreme measures in an effort to dump Ray. And Anji decides to write an article about her sex life, but her attempt at a threesome is a disaster.

7 – Kate tries to throw off her good girl image with Dutch doctor Willem (Bill Fellows). Beth has an explosive fight with Kate and then plans her new life with Paul while Jamie overdoes the cocaine and his big mouth gets the hospital in trouble with a drugs rep

8 – Anji is shocked that fiancé Ajesh won’t have sex before marriage. She suspects he’s gay – and he does have a confession to make. Jamie is driving Kate mad because she doesn’t know where she stands with him, and the girls get a wake-up call at a meeting about nurses’ finances.

9 – Lia has gone four years without sex so she agrees to date the son of a patient, while also fretting about her daughter’s relationship with a 13-year-old ‘gangsta’. Paul makes a shock confession to besotted Beth; Anji gets into trouble when she ridicules the latest patient care directive, and McManus, Jamie and Kate attend an unusual party.

10 – The girls are horrified to hear that irritating idiot Clare (Lisa Millett) could become the new ward sister, and they do their best to stop it at a crazy training day. Meanwhile, Anji gives dating tips to Callum (he gets sex at last!), and Paul is forced by his bosses to choose bwteeen Beth or his wife.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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