Tag Archives: Nev

BBC3…Chaos and Craic at the Nev’s Call Centre.

18 Dec

The workplace that looks so improbable that you know it can’t be fiction is back.  Nev Wilshire and his boys and girls of the Swansea call centre were back tonight for a one-off Christmas edition.

The Swansea based call centre is chaotic enough during normal times of the year, and with Christmas it doesn’t seem to have brought a break in the constant undercurrent of barely contained disorder that pervades the place. Sadly though once you have got over the initial shock of “are these people really running  a business in this place”, it becomes pretty mundane and to be honest a bit boring.

You still had most of the ingrdients that made it a cult hit when it first hit our screens all those months ago, but the WTF factor has well and truely disappeared.

There were glimpses of what it was like back then,  when we saw grizzly call centre veteran Griff amble in off the street into CEO Nev Wilshire’s old office asking for his old job back, and a loan of eight hundred quid as well. Did Nev bat an eyelid? Nope he gave him both his job back and the money.

Griff had left the call centre to pursue a job as a stand up comedian, but that didn’t work out for him. They do say a lot of comedians are manic depressives in real life, if that were true then I expect Griff to have sell out shows at the London Apollo soon, because a more miserable man I have rarely seen.

He spent most of the episode railing against Christmas and being really surly around the office. In one scene he was called into a manager’s office and reprimanded about his behaviour. His defence was that he was the Christian Ronaldo of the call centre, and his creativity was being constrained. “Would you ask Ronaldo to cut down on the step-overs?” ne asked, no came the reply but we would ask him to cut back on the diving.

There were other elements that had made the Call Centre must-watch TV like the office romance between  Johnny and Jodie, who had hoped to keep it secret but were rumbled when the the gossip column of the staff newspaper dropping hints about it and soon it was all over the call centre. Like all things Call Centre related it was transient and before the end of the programme they had both gone their separate ways. Again the whole thing lacked the oomph of the earlier episodes.

Lastly we got one of the old reliables perma-tanned Hayley the tea-lady who  usually seems to spend half her time at work organising social events, so no suprise that the planned Christmas party falls within her remit. That was pretty much all we got from her, none of the hyperactivity, none of pranks. She was, dare I say it, just normal.

Fans of the show might have enjoyed it, but only because it was familiar. If you were watching for the first time, you would be forgiven for wondering what the hype was about.

 

The Call Centre…Looks like it is real, after all

11 Jun

Last week I wondered if BBC3′s The Call Centre was real or some sort of parody. Well it turns out it is real. The main star of the show is Neville ‘Nev’ Wilshire, is the CEO of the Save Britain Money contact centre and if you have ever received phone calls out of the blue offering to help reclaim your PPI, save money on your electricity bills or home insulation there is a good chance one of Nev’s lads or lasses would be on the other end of the call.

There were more romantic woes and eye brow raising antics. Having said all that as Nev pointed out most of his staff are under 25 and ordinarily the job, cold calling tens of people every day, would be soul destroying,  so the non conventional motivation techniques may not be so strange.

Still the extent to which he goes to set up dates for his staff is still a bit worrying. This week call centre agent George was the man who Nev was out to help but dragging all the girls in the call centre one by one into his office  to ask them if they would date George is not the stuff of modern human resources.

He finally gets a “victim” , Alex, and proceeds to drag George through the call centre to meet his date and promptly embarrasses both of them in front of everyone else.

You almost get the feeling that Nev is trying to recapture his own youth through the lives of the people he employs with some of his more extreme antics, or maybe he is just misunderstood and is an all round good egg.

As for George the lesson learnt was love has to come naturally as Alex decided he was not right for her.