A to Z of HMP Larkhall
Occasionally served for breakfast on G-Wing. The Julies spiked Noreen’s pancake mix with dead cockroaches during their campaign to be reinstated as red-bands (s4ep8). The plan worked, but also shocked Crystal into early labour (s4ep9). The Julies also unwittingly poisoned the whole wing when they borrowed the screw’s milk to make pancakes. The milk had been spiked with poisonous extract of rhubarb leaves by Bev (s6ep6).
Sweet, softly-spoken and demure inmate who served time on G-Wing for credit card fraud. When the fact that she was a post-op transsexual came to light, it caused a storm on G-Wing and only Pat’s intervention saved her from a transfer to a male prison (s7ep7).
Read Arun’s character profile.
Helen’s ex-fiancé, a weedy landscape gardener who never quite understood how important her job was to her. After eventually realising that she didn’t love Sean, Helen dumped him. He got his revenge by burning his wedding suit in the full view of G-Wing’s inmates and screws while a mortified Helen looked on (s1ep10).
Shell and Denny managed to get a pair of dodgy passports made shortly after their escape from Larkhall. The passports were issued in the names Barbara Hunt and Nicola Wade and got them as far as Spain (s3ep8). Phyl and Bev relied on their old friend Oliver Lilley to arrange some passports for them after they escaped. Spain was also their destination of choice (s7ep9).
Crushed by an unknown hand and then poured into a pepper pot that was then placed on Renee Williams’s table. The resulting bout of anaphylactic shock resulted in her death. It should be noted that Yvonne had worked out that Renee was allergic to nuts and was later shown triumphantly eating peanuts in her cell (s2ep11).
On the surface, it’s easy to see how Di fell head-over-heels in love with this screw with an army background – he was handsome, charming, romantic and a fantastic cook. However, underneath the surface lurked a vicious and insecure bully who beat Di black-and-blue before she finally saw sense and dumped him (s4ep4).
Peckham Boot Gang
All-girl gang led by Maxi that consisted of her, Tina and Al. The PBG initially wreaked havoc on G-Wing, but Maxi’s dreams of world domination were eventually crushed when she was soundly thrashed by Shaz in an organised fight. Maxi announced the death of the PBG and then committed suicide by swallowing a roll of toilet paper (s4ep11).
Smuggled into Larkhall by Lorna on Shell’s orders. Little did Lorna know that Shell had tipped Helen off to the handover and that she was lying in wait to pounce. The DST pulled the box that contained the perfume apart and found drugs. Shell looked on with satisfaction as Lorna was taken away by the police (s1ep9).
Shell used her charms on Chris Bissett, the soundman from Kickin’ Productions when he and his team were shooting a fly-on-the-wall documentary on G-Wing. To butter her up, he smuggled her in a bottle of perfume. When Shell and Denny escaped shortly afterwards, it was simplicity itself for Fenner to frame Chris as the person who had helped them to flee (s3ep7).
A personal officer is allocated to an inmate as soon as they arrive at Larkhall. Their job is to get to know the prisoner, provide a first point of contact if they need to talk to a staff member and work with them on activities such as sentence planning.
Selena talked Fenner into allowing her to be Kris’s personal officer when she started work at Larkhall. Little did he know that Selena had only joined the Prison Service in the first place to get close to her girlfriend – Kris (s5ep14). Fenner also used his role as personal officer to get close to inmates, Shell and Rachel in particular.
Donny was asked to be Janine’s personal officer, a position that allowed the two of them to get so close that Janine ended up pregnant (s8ep10).
All inmates are allowed access to a certain amount of cash which can be used to but items from the prison canteen. Prisoners on basic regime are only allowed to spend a small amount of their cash on each visit, those on standard a bit more and those on enhanced most of all. The cash has either been brought in with them, sent in by family or friends, or is their wages from working within the prison.
Prison maintenance man who made his first appearance on G-Wing when he smuggled an audio tape of Darlene’s brother being tortured to Tanya on behalf of Rick Revoir (s6ep6). He later took a shine to Tina and conned her into dropping her knickers by pretending that he was interested in pursuing a relationship with her after her release. Gullible Tina walked through the gates expecting to find Ben waiting for her. Was he? Was he hell (s5ep12). With Tina out of the way, Ben turned his attention to Natalie. The Julies became suspicious when they saw him leaving her cell and reported him to Neil. Ben was then unmasked as Ben Hennessey – he was actually a driver for a laundry company who had conned his way in to Larkhall to service frustrated women (s7ep1). See Hennessey, Ben.
Used by the inmates to make telephone calls. Special phonecards used to be sold in the prison canteen and could only be used in prison payphones. Just like most things on G-Wing, they were also used as currency and traded for a variety of things, including drugs.
The edges of phonecards were also regularly sharpened and used for various nefarious activities – Nikki used one to re-open the wound on her hand as an excuse to see the nurse (s2ep13) and Julie J managed to cut her hair with one (s5ep9). Buki quite obviously used the edge of a phonecard to cut up.
Phonecards were eventually phased out and each inmate was then given a PIN number to access their own personal telephone credit account. Phyl was in the possession of a huge stack of ill-gotten phonecards at the time, all of which were immediately rendered useless (s6ep3).
One of Charlie Atkins’ goons took snaps of Fenner collecting his bribe money from Charlie on the golf course (s2ep5). The photographs were then smuggled to Yvonne inside a calendar and used to blackmail Fenner into helping her escape (s2ep7). Fenner was also caught on camera by Yvonne when he was getting up close and personal with Tina (s5ep12).
Fenner took a series of naughty photos of Karen during their relationship, one of which managed to find its way into Neil’s wallet, much to Karen’s distress (s4ep8). Fenner later threatened to send these photographs to the newspapers after Karen reported him to the police after he raped her (s4ep10).
POs wear a number of pips on their shoulders to denote their rank. Principal Officers (Fenner) have two pips on each shoulder, Senior Officers (Hollamby) have one and Basic Grade Officers don’t have any. When Hollamby was busted down to Basic Grade after Shaz and Denny stole her keys, she was ordered to remove her pips immediately and hand them over to Karen (s2ep11).
Atkins family speak for taking a hit out on someone. Charlie Atkins was shot dead by a man riding pillion on a pizza delivery bike after his trial (s3ep5). Although it was never proved, it is fair to assume that the ‘pizza’ was ordered by Lauren. Yvonne ordered an “American hot” for Fenner, but he had been pre-warned by Colin and managed to kick his front door shut and hit the deck before the delivery man managed to get a shot off (s5ep16).
A hopeless heroin addict, Zandra spent much of her time on G-Wing caught in an endless cycle of buying drugs, smuggling them in, and then hiding them from Shell for long enough to actually take them. She did eventually manage to get clean after the birth of her baby son, Robbie, but then tragically died of an inoperable brain tumour (s2ep9).
The pervy mag that Fenner had stashed in his locker (s4ep1), and also the pornographic image that was mistakenly left on one of the reconditioned computers acquired from local businesses. Buki printed the picture and then doctored it by sticking Bobby and Sylvia Hollamby’s heads on the bodies of the copulating couple. Hollamby was not amused when she saw it pinned to a notice board (s4ep5).
British slang term for a prison term – “doing porridge”. Also, the yucky grey goo served up for breakfast on G-Wing. Although hated by most of the inmates – especially Yvonne “I don’t do porridge” Atkins – it does play a vital part in prison folklore:
Julie S – “You’ve got to have your last porridge.”
Julie J – “Yeah, you’ve got to.”
Julie S – “Because you know what they say...”
Julie J – “You’ll be back to eat it another day.”
Helen sent a couple of postcards printed with a portrait of George Eliot in the period between her resignation as Wing Governor and her appointment as Lifers’ Liaison (s2ep3-ep5). Shaz received a Spanish postcard from her Auntie Nellie which confused the hell out of her, not least because she didn’t actually have an Auntie Nellie! It took Crystal to work out that the postcard was actually a coded message from Denny (s2ep9).
Nikki’s usual haunt. It gained cult status during Series 1 and almost became an ancillary character in its own right. Much lamented for most of Series 2-3, it made a triumphant return in time for Shaz’s attempt to tunnel her way to freedom (s4ep5) and then later, was the scene of a ‘moment’ between Pat and Sheena (s7ep11).
Zandra, Crystal, Shell and Janine have all been pregnant and given birth as inmates. As far as the POs go, Di and Gina have both been pregnant. Both later miscarried, although in Gina’s case, it was real (s3ep14).
A person who offers sexual favours into exchange for cash. The Julies, Buki and Julie J’s daughter, Rhiannon, were all on the game before being sent down. Shell was a veritable cottage industry when she was returned to Larkhall after being apprehended in Amsterdam – Fenner provided the clients and she provided the hand-jobs (s5ep2).
The PO grade higher than Senior and Basic Grade officer. Fenner was a Principal Officer, as was Karen before their respective promotions to Wing Governor.
Private company Linford Securities were given the contract to privatise Larkhall (s5ep5). However, Karen had other ideas and tipped Yvonne off. She and a group of inmates took Christopher Biggins hostage under the full glare of the press, forcing Linford to back off (s5ep7).
Maxi arrived on G-Wing with the backing of the PBG and was determined to usurp Yvonne’s position as top-dog. Although she very nearly succeeded in framing Yvonne for Virginia’s murder (s3ep16) and then later, very nearly strangled her to death (s4ep9), the challenge ultimately proved too much for her. After suffering the humiliation of being beaten up by Shaz, she committed suicide (s4ep11).
Read Maxi’s character profile.