BBC's new drama The Nest features a great Scot, but it just isn't very thrilling

Some things don’t sound right. Saying “Prime Minister Boris Johnson”, for instance, just sounds a bit jarring to the ear. If you were watching The Nest (BBC1, Sundays, 9pm) you would have had a similar feeling.
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Martin Compston has become a star playing bent copper divining rod Steve Arnott on Line of Duty, where he speaks with a sort of unspecified estuary English accent.

In the BBC’s latest psycho-thriller, however, he speaks in his native Scottish brogue, which confused me so much it was difficult to concentrate. Which may explain why The Nest was ever-so-slightly underwhelming.

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The opening was promising, throwing in a few red herrings as wee Martin and wife Emily (played by Peaky Blinders’ Sophie Rundle) struggled to come to terms with infertility.

Martin Compston starred in the new BBC1 thriller The NestMartin Compston starred in the new BBC1 thriller The Nest
Martin Compston starred in the new BBC1 thriller The Nest

In one of those film tropes where a chance encounter leads to drama, their paths cross with troubled teenager Kaya, who is searching for a family of her own.

In no time, cuckoo-in-the-nest Kaya has got her feet under the table at wee Martin’s luxury lochside home of neverending windows, and has agreed to be a surrogate.

There are still a few mysteries to resolve – wee Martin’s business seems a bit dodgy, and we don’t know why Kaya is so troubled – but from the moment she tells Emily “all my life I’ve had to be grateful for everything. I want someone to be grateful to me,” you can’t see it going anywhere but psycho alley.

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The ending will almost certainly involve a scuffle with a kitchen knife, a last-minute hero’s entrance and the unexpected resurrection of the villain à la Fatal Attraction.


A by-the-numbers thriller then, but at least it gives me chance to come to terms with BoJo as PM and wee Steve Arnott being Scottish.

Jamie Oliver was doing his bit for the lockdown with Keep Cooking and Carry On (Channel 4, weekdays, 8.30pm) to help us make the most of what we’ve got. Can’t wait for baked bean thermidor.

I was slightly late in finishing off Baghdad Central (Channel 4, Mondays, 10pm and streaming now on All4) but if you have time (ha!) it’s well worth catching up on a superior slow-burner.

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