Week 3, 13 November 1996.

Beryl & June, two retired social workers, are in Plymouth, a square with three rivers, 233 phone boxes, and (according to Richard) just 350 people. Think he's out by a factor of a thousand. Tracker Dave McBride was in Taunton when the call came.

Dave and Andy, the taxi drivers running for week 3, are in the Warrington area, River Mersey, but just 133 phone boxes. Paul Denchfield has the Runcorn bridge closed, and that could be very bad news for him.

Nick and Andy, Essex firemen, are somewhere in the Black Country, where West Brom are at home. 300,000 people, 474 phone boxes. Victoria Fay has brought in the chaps of Dudley fire station.

So, to business. Nick and Andy have treble-tracked around the south east, travelling a stonking 858 miles. Their task: visit a zoo, and feed an animal each day. London on Thursday, caught in Southampton on Friday, Eastbourne on Saturday. Then they send Victoria to Kent, but they're in Basildon. Victoria catches on when it gets dark. Monday has the lads in Peterborough, Tuesday they send Victoria off to Twycross on a fake, and they're being filmed in Dudley on Wednesday. 5000 is their target for the week...

John O'Connor and Oleg Gordievsky aren't too impressed, reckoning that the lads have been a bit too predictable, and it turns out that they've been shopped by a Dudley fireman named Bill. They're caught before the end of part one.

After the break, Dave's following a lead in Tor Point, and is crossing the Hammose by boat. Richard reckons "Mr Cheetham" might be a false lead. In Warrington, the lads might be in Great Sankey. Or they might not. They're certainly enjoying receiving messages from home.

Dave and Andy have been up the Welsh borders, and along the Mersey. Only 300 miles this week, and 1000 in total. Their objective: take a different beauty treatment every day. Paul pins down the pair to a hotel, but he hits traffic and they slip out the back. By Saturday night, Paul's staking out Dave's home, but he's up against the Wirral Taxi Driver Mafia. They plaster Paul's car with toilet paper and tie cans to his bumper. The pair have made great television, but not quite so hot at the game itself. 81 sightings to Wanted HQ, two incidents of doubling back, but they are playing for 5000. Paul reckons they're outside Runcorn bus station.

Dave McBride is on dry land, looking very lost, and Beryl is getting her thanks in before they show the film. Beryl and June have been in the south west. Guildford on Thursday, Salisbury on Friday, Shaftesbury on Saturday, Cheltenham on Sunday, and Dave's not happy - he puts out an appeal on other radio stations. No one calls 0990 100 300. The ladies flee when they see Dave's van, and end up in the Ladies'. They have to get to Cardiff without going through Newport, and spend Monday night at Bristol Station. They've not been caught, and they're playing for the full 7000.

Three minutes, and Dave reckons he might be on them. Up in Warrington, Paul Denchfield is generating a huge chorus of boos, he's got his lads thanks to an internet lead and a lucky wrong turn.

Quickly down to Plymouth, with seconds on the clock. Dave McBride, anywhere near them? He knows where they are, but he's never going to reach them in time. The ladies survive to run another week.

In the real world this week, Steve Coppell resigned as Manchester City manager after 33 days in the job. "The stress had got to me," claimed the former manager. In World Cup qualifiers, England beat Georgia 2-0, and Macedonia won 11-1 in Liechtenstein.

last ... all ... next