Last Tango in Booths is a real treat for TV viewers

Family-owned grocer and wine merchant Booths made a guest star appearance in the popular Northern drama Last Tango in Halifax, written by Sally Wainwright, which is back on our screens each Sunday..

Friday, 28th February 2020, 5:00 pm
Sir Derek Jacobi and the Booths team in Ilkley

The Bafta award- winning series follows two widowed pensioners, Alan and Celia, played by Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid, rekindling a childhood romance.

Series four takes place a few years after the 2016 Christmas special.

Alan and Celia are now seven years into their marriage and aren’t quite seeing eye to eye.

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John Barnes - still working at Booths in Lytham

Alan, needing to find a bit of independence, takes on a new job at a local upmarket supermarket (which is actually Booths at Ilkley!).

Location manager Jonathan Davies said Yorkshire writer Sally Wainwright was keen to film at Booths.

Preston-headquarteredBooths takes pride in a family ethos and has long been the champion and employer of older workers.

A total of 467 employees are over the age of 60, an impressive 16 per cent of the nearly 3,000 strong workforce.

Store manager Rachel Costello said, “Booths is a family business and that ethos extends to our workforce.

“ Booths is very much a multi-generational employer. I think this storyline will resonate with quite a lot of colleagues and customers.

“Our colleagues really benefit from being an intergenerational workforce, working as a team gives life a bit of purpose at whatever age.”

She added: “We had a great time helping out with the filming and I loved seeing Sir Derek working behind a till at Booths. He really looked the part.”

One of the army of pensioners who enjoy working at Booths is John Barnes, who works part-time at the Lytham store.

John, aged 65, confessed he had not watched Last Tango in Halifax before this current series - but would in future.!

He saw stills released ahead of its airing last Sunday night and immediately recognised the Ilkley store.

John previously worked as the wine and spirits trainer for Booths for 12 years, serving all stores

Now he works three days a week at Lytham, doing wine tasting and also running a wine club.

“It’s not the most hideous job is it?” he joked.

“I trained as a lawyer originally and ended up as the wine mentor for Booths – much to the envy of my legal colleagues.”

John said he chose to return to work keep his mind and body active.

He chose the Lytham store because he lives with his partner in nearbyAnsdell and knows and likes the store.

He said: “I will keep working as long as I am enjoying it.

“It keeps me fit and active and you get to talk to and meet lots of people.

“The staff are great and when I was asked choose a store I chose Lytham because it is so easy to get to from where I live.”

In summer John can cycle of walk along the seafront to work .

Last Tango in Halifax’s creator Sally Wainwright has said she wanted to ensure this new BBC1series put Alan’s character front and centre.

Booths donated its location fee to accommodate the filming of Last Tango in Halifax to charity.