The story centres on likeable mum Jeanette as she teaches the junior "Penguins" and trains her talented daughter, Trisha, to compete in the British Figure Skating Championships. Ruthless, ambitious coach Barbara will do almost anything to thwart Jeanette and Trisha's plans - if her star pupil, the less enthusiastic Natalie, can become a champion, her career might be catapulted into the more glamorous surroundings of Deeside.
More sensitive than the average stage-mum, Jeanette struggles, under Barbara's continual jibes, to keep her dignity and to earn enough money to pay Trisha's expenses. Ineffectual owner/manager Roy Piper, while sympathising with Jeanette, must keep Barbara happy enough to continue hiring the rink for her pupils. At the height of Torvill and Dean's popularity the Derby Ice Bowl was all the rage, but times have changed and Roy is struggling to make ends meet and to keep everybody happy.
Other ensemble characters lend support to Jeanette's cause: the unhygenic and snackbar attendant Inga; Marc Wootton (star of High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman and My New Best Friend) as Dennis the dim-witted hockey coach overrun by his trouble-making teenage charges; the occasionally criminal single mum Leslie. Most appealing though is Corrie star Charles Dale as not-so-handy man Rocky, who is enlisted in odd jobs such as removing the pigeon from the rink's rafters, which he does by releasing a hawk.
The show doesn't contradict any of the Northern stereotypes of the general populace as money-driven, morally bankrupt, fag-smoking, a bit simple and lacking taste. It will inevitably draw comparisons with Phoenix Nights - which isn't surprising as it comes from the same producer. Roy pretending the fetish equipment left by an adult entertainment conference who'd hired a room is a children's gymnasium is reminiscent of Brian Potter's rude bouncy castle. It should, however, appeal to those who like their humour with a broad accent.Genre: