Week 4, 20 November 1996.

It's been a really bad week out there, heavy snow falls yesterday brought much of the Midlands to a halt. No one would want to swap places with them. Beryl and June have their gloves on in central Newcastle. 265,000 people and 467 phone boxes. Dave McBride has been getting snowed on all day, travelling up from Liverpool and scaring friends of Beryl's. Richard wonders why Dave is standing outside a phone box when the ladies are in a phone box.

Dawn (secretary) and Lisa (friend) are in the Caerphilly / Cardiff North square. 150,000 people but only 91 phone boxes. Paul Denchfield has had to come down from Sheffield to make chase. Paul's plan: deal with Caerphilly town in the north first, then travel down to the Cardiff fringes.

Tracie (singer) and Anthony (ex-boyfriend) are in London NE, 2569 boxes, and the same square Dave and Andy played in week one. Victoria Fay is checking out a row of phone boxes in Smithfield, and has a security camera from when they were doing their task. She's enlisted the help of some couriers.

Tracie and Anthony went west, then north, covering 332 miles. Their task: each bowl a strike at a bowling alley each day. Very cleverly, they call ahead, claiming to be from Wanted, and asking if they'll tip them off. Clever. After almost being cornered in Aylesbury, they recce the back exits from the bowling alley, a tactic that helps them evade capture in Leicester. Enraged, Victoria enlists help from one chain's manager, and nabs them on film in Milton Keynes the next day.

Oleg Gordievsky is very impressed - ringing ahead is a masterstroke of genius, getting in the mind of the pursuer. John O'Connor spots that there's been a flaw in the plan: the runners are relying on one chain of bowling alleys. She's probably stuffed for tonight, and is going to need a tip-off to find them. Tracie and Anthony have had 75 positive sightings to HQ, were filmed in MK yesterday, and are playing for 6000. Victoria's still at Smithfield, in the far SE of the square, and reckons there's a lead no more than a mile away in the City of London.

In Wales, no one is letting on that the show doesn't air until 9pm, 30 minutes after viewers in the rest of the UK. North Cardiff is Paul's next destination.

Beryl and June might be somewhere in Newcastle city centre, north of the Tyne. In the box, June is making a silly tune - it's a musical mobile telephone ring. The two ladies have hugged the coast, covering over 700 miles. By Thursday they had made it from Plymouth to Walthamstow, where they were to put a bet on a sporting event and see the result. Saturday saw them in Peterborough, but there were only three events on Sunday: in Wolverhampton, Derby, and Perry Barr. Wolves beat Birmingham, Derby downed Middlesbrough, and the Perry Barr greyhounds also drew a blank. The ladies put their feet up in Stamford. Monday's race in Leicester is the first caught on camera moment, and they haven't played today, so they're playing for 4000 tonight.

There's a fair flurry of excitement that Beryl and June might be in Osbourne Road, but it's a false alarm. Victoria's almost given up hope in London, Paul's not happy in Wales.

Lisa and Dawn have been taking ski slope lessons, going through Anglia, Western, and the Midlands before landing in Wales. They're shopped by the manager in Basingstoke, but not before completing their task. He waits for them in Gloucester, but the girls lose their phone. Paul leaves, the girls arrive, and they've gone. Same story in Tamworth, they're too late. Paul gets stuck by the heavy snowfall on Tuesday, but a couple of complications. They've doubled-back, and left the Wednesday square, so they're playing for 5000.

Any danger of a capture? Paul's gibbering with some students, Victoria's somewhere in Islington, and the usually unflappable Dave is tearing his hair out. None of the trackers has a clue, quite frankly. Victoria has a lead, Dave might be headed to a metro station, Paul is lost. And time expires.

Anthony and Tracie are in a tiny alley off Fleet Street; Beryl and June are somewhere in the docks; Lisa and Dawn are in the middle of nowhere.

Out in the real world, the unexpected appearance of a fox stopped play in the Glasgow derby at Celtic Park. Rangers won 1-0. A cold snap hits the country. MPs vote to ban all pistols except those kept locked away in gun clubs. A lorry carrying polystyrene catches fire part way through the Channel Tunnel, closing it to all traffic.

last ... all ... next