Rab C Nesbitt set for bedroom tax battle

THE UK government is facing a new opponent in its battle over the so-called bedroom tax - Rab C Nesbitt.
Rab C Nesbitt will battle the bedroom tax in a TV Christmas special. Picture: BBCRab C Nesbitt will battle the bedroom tax in a TV Christmas special. Picture: BBC
Rab C Nesbitt will battle the bedroom tax in a TV Christmas special. Picture: BBC

The Glaswegian layabout is to be targeted by the controversial changes to housing benefit in a Christmas special of the BBC comedy.

In the 45-minute special, Rab and his long-suffering wife Mary Doll are told that their handouts will be cut due to a spare bedroom at their home in Govan.

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However, never one to take a setback lying down, the string-vested philosopher, played by Gregor Fisher, decides to convert the spare room into a study.

He thinks using it as a base to forensically examine betting odds will help him beat the tax, which has affected thousands of Scots.

The plot details were revealed by Elaine C Smith, who plays Mary Doll, as she opened a new shopping centre in her hometown of Motherwell, Lanarkshire, today.

She said: “We have just finished filming a Christmas special of Rab C Nesbitt although I’m not sure of the exact date it will be aired.

“In the special Rab C takes on the bedroom tax. You see him re-decorating the spare bedroom to try and avoid the tax.

“So he turns it into a study where he ‘studies’ dugs, horses and the lottery.

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“But as he says his work is never done. Rab C and Mary Doll end up out fighting the bedroom tax. It was great fun to film.”

Earlier this month, the cast were seen filming at docks on the Firth of Clyde at Greenock, Inverclyde.

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In the scene, Rab was arrested after drunkenly headbutting a police officer suggesting his battle with the authorities doesn’t go entirely

to plan.

Elaine, 55, was back in Motherwell to cut the ribbon on the revamped shopping mall which has been given a £450,000 upgrade by its owners.

She told how the centre held fond memories for her and said her family would have been proud she was given the honour.

She said: “I’m so glad to be back here today, it’s so emotional for me.

“My mum and dad are no longer with us and not here with me today.

“My parents would have thought opening Motherwell shopping centre was better than Carnegie Hall.

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“I remember back when this was all being built and then it seemed like the coolest thing ever.

“We felt it was like New York.”

Rab C Nesbitt first appeared in Naked Video in 1986 and was spun off into his own series, written by Ian Pattison, between 1988 and 1999.

When a Christmas special in 2008 attracted five million viewers and won a Bafta, a new series followed in 2009. Series 10 was broadcast across the UK last year.