Series following a private security firm. In a festive episode, Francis is searching for Sparta's Employee of the Year, and also trying to restart his boxing career.
Browse content similar to Christmas Special. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
MUSIC: Silent Night
'Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring.
(You don't know when the thing's going to come, baby.)
(You've got to be alert, you've got to be ready.)
(That's what Jesus says and he's coming again.)
(Listen, I ain't Jesus.)
(My name's Spartacus.)
(Oh, get down, get down, get down! I think he's coming, get down.)
(He's here, he's here, he's here, he's here!)
Darlington, north-east England.
In this historic market town,
one man's on a mission to make crime a thing of the past.
Fearless Francis Jones.
If you have a problem, day or night...
I'm like a doctor to the burglars.
I give them their medicine.
..if no-one else can help...
There's no escape from Francis Jones.
People always say I'm different, like.
..and if you can find him...
The things you do to catch criminals.
..maybe you can hire Sparta Security.
Spartan warriors was a tribe of people who had courage,
who were strong.
When you drive down the road, the kids always shout, "This is Sparta!"
Them Christians that go around in sort of vans like that,
it's usually the Salvation Army, for goodness' sake!
it's a pseudo-style police vehicle.
What does "pseudo" mean?
If you want a steak, you go and get a sirloin.
If you want ice cream, you go to Tom & Jerry's.
If you want security, you come and see Spartacus.
In Darlo, Christmas is coming.
Across town, gifts are being bought
and preparations made for the big day.
Christmas time at Sparta's a very busy time,
whereas everyone else is on holiday, we have more work.
Could be here until next Christmas, putting these up.
Any time is a time of crime, sweetheart,
when you have valuables underneath your tree.
Listen, I ain't stupid. If I'm a burglar, I don't need a PhD,
I don't even need a GCSE, to be honest.
I just know that I'm going to get business off burgling your house.
But instead of decorating trees,
some locals are causing them serious harm.
A concerned resident has sent out an SOS to Sparta Security.
-Hello, mate, how are you doing? You all right?
Matty recently helped Francis on his crusade against nuisance bikers.
Trees cut down over there, loads of them.
It's time to return the favour.
There's a big sycamore tree.
It was there. There's the stump of it.
And this as well, ain't it?
They've tried that, but this is a rock-hard wood cedar, isn't it?
Do you know who the ringleader is?
-Right. So it's catching them in action, isn't it?
And then prosecuting them if you've said to them,
"Listen, stop burning all the trees down."
Operation Tree Killer is on.
I hope he has some effect on it.
No-one else is bothering, the council haven't.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much then, buddy.
We need to start getting them wheels in motion
so that no more trees get burned down in the run-up to Christmas.
Thank you very much, you're beautiful, thank you.
Hiya, Dean. Do you want a bit?
Francis just wants to bring festive cheer to his Spartan army.
He's got a big idea to raise morale and performance.
-How's it going, Keith?
-All right, how are you?
Over Christmas, what I'm after, right,
is a workforce that is enthusiastic, proactive and switched on.
For the person who can show me this talent,
I will give them a weekend away.
So like an "employee of the year", so to speak?
So when do we decide the winner?
How long have they got?
The Christmas party. I'm going to decide it on the night of the Christmas party.
Would it be an incentive if I was to say I'm going to send you to
Vegas or somewhere, for a weekend?
Would that get you the send me on, maybes?
Or, or, do you know...
I don't think it would get me a send-on.
I think it would get YOU a hard-on! You could take it with you.
What the staff don't know is how the winner will be decided.
We don't mind him coming around and checking on us
if he wants to do that, by all means.
I'm not sure it'll end up being Las Vegas, like.
More like Las Blackpool, I think.
Francis is bringing in specialist help to find the mystery tree killer.
Down the road from Redhall is where he grew up.
He's kind of like an expert, a council estate expert,
if you want to put a name on him.
You know, forming a jigsaw, bosh, I look forward to hearing what
information he's got.
He's called on a Sparta legend.
Well that's good, he's not even fucking in!
How good is that?
Former apprentice, Luke "Pembo" Pemberton.
How you doing? You all right?
Is this a new member?
-It's Lily. Lily, she's called.
-And Lily shits everywhere.
-She does, like, yeah.
Pembo, yeah, he's come back.
I like him, we get on, we have a good craic.
So what do you say? You think I've lost weight?
I see a nice heart, I see a good heart.
Could he have a role in the company? Possibly, possibly.
She's had a little wee there, a little accident.
-How are you supposed to train 'em?
Pembo was a former thief and burglar and was previously sacked by Sparta.
But for Francis, Christmas is a time for second chances.
I wouldn't say I'm confident in him, that he's not going to
revert back to the vomit, like a dog does,
return to the old ways. Who knows?
-We've got someone who's going round near to where you grew up on, right?
And he goes around doing all the trees.
You got knowledge on this estate, you know.
Inside detail... Yeah, well, I know that you know that...
And the lads off there and this, that and the other
and I just want to identify the suspect there.
He's obviously not got a head, has he, setting trees alight?
Basically I'm a bit of a contractor now, aren't I? He's brought me in.
'He just wants me a little bit, like, to help him do this. So, yeah.'
I'm willing to do it.
It's Christmas, innit?
# Jing-a-ling-a-ling! #
Francis and Pembo are on the hunt for the mystery tree killer.
# Jing-a-ling-a-ling! #
So that's one of them, right?
That's another one there, Pembo.
They're just destroying all the trees, aren't they?
There's going to be a place where they're going to sit.
In a clearing ahead...
There you go, there, that's him there, look. They're smoking now.
-..Pembo's spotted something.
-The proof's in the pudding. They're there!
We'll have a wander down.
What it is, boys, right, they've burnt trees down...
Yeah, but the thing is, we aren't cutting the trees down.
-We pick up, like, burning leaves.
-Yeah, but it's just people ruining trees, in the end.
A bloke in a white van came over here with a chainsaw...
-Obviously if we catch him...
Too fucking right!
See you later, boys, all right? In a bit.
Francis and Pembo have a lead.
We might have to go undercover, covert.
All right, son. On it.
-There we go.
It's day one of the competition to be named Sparta employee of the year.
We've had a few people that tried to pinch the lead from the roofs.
Under the spotlight is Davey,
who is guarding an empty nursing home.
We've been a door supervisor and worked on the doors for many, many years.
Er, I'm quite alert.
That's the alarm going off.
Davey has an unexpected visitor.
If anyone ever did break into the premises,
we have the alarms on all the doors and stuff, like, and all the windows.
This board lights up and tells us which part
or which room has been entered and all that,
so we know exactly which room to go to.
The nursing home shift requires regular patrols of the entire premises.
Francis wants to see if Davey's following orders closely enough
to be employee of the year.
I'd had a microwave up here,
but the microwave broke, so I just cook on the George Foreman.
I don't think Francis has ever been up here
and seen how we enjoy the good life.
Sat at work, eating bacon butties and watching a film.
What more can you ask for?
Davey Fenwick, employee of the year?
I think he's watching Only Fools And Horses.
Yeah, I don't mind him cooking, I don't mind him making stuff,
but he's got to be practical and basically do the job.
Do the patrols, he hasn't done all of them at the minute,
he's just making himself a cup of coffee, is what I can see here.
Not the best start, but Davey has the whole shift to redeem himself.
Yup, he is, I'm happy about that. He patrolled there 15 times
within the 12-hour period.
You know, Davey's a strong candidate for employee of the year.
He's a strong candidate.
Hoping at the Christmas party I'll be the one and I might have a trip abroad somewhere.
It'd be great.
You go looking for burglars and naughty parties and you know you're fit,
not a man alive will get away.
As Christmas often brings more crime,
Francis must be fighting fit at all times.
I'm like a butcher, I'm sharpening the knives.
Francis fought the British welterweight title in 2007.
He's now planning a comeback.
I've got a fight coming up for a charity match,
but I'm not after just boxing, I'm after a world title.
I've asked God. "God," I says, "can I be world champion?"
God said to me, "You can be a world champion, Mr Jones."
The comeback trail starts soon for Francis to achieve his dream.
On the way to success, you'll always pass failure.
I've passed failure many a time, but you keep on going.
It's like starting again from scratch.
This kid on Friday... I threw that, and he counted me
and I'll be on the floor, like Daffy Duck, seeing stars.
On an industrial estate, Sparta guard, Micky,
is starting a night shift.
To be honest, you're just stuck out there,
you do your 12 hours, you're...
We're not here to compete with other firms, we are who we are,
we're unique, we've got the best guards about.
The employee of the year competition is going up a gear.
(Oh, get down, get down, get down! I think he's coming, get down.)
(He's here, he's here, he's here, he's here!)
(He never seen me, he never seen me.)
(He never seen me.)
(Which would compromise the mission.)
(I want to see if he can do his job.)
Under Sparta guidelines, Micky should constantly monitor
the perimeter for suspicious activity.
(There's no smoking, there's no playing on your phones.)
(You've gotta be on the ball.)
(Always looking smart, he's looking good there, he's looking good,)
(but I want to see the front of him.)
(I ain't taking a bullet.)
(I can't let him see me.)
Micky's patrols have created a clear visible deterrent to would-be thieves.
(He can't see me here.)
Apart from not spotting the walking hedge,
he seems to have passed the test.
Early, radio's on, torch, uniform's on, smart as a carrot.
Very happy with tonight's performance.
Ho, ho, ho.
In the midst of his busy schedule,
Francis is finding time for a seasonal public appearance.
The things you do to get yourself a lass.
Oh, he's good. Santa's still got it.
Today, Father Christmas is visiting the Redhall estate.
Want to sit down? You take a seat.
Right. OK, then. So, you put your hand in.
Oh, it's not an Xbox.
Sparta Claus has bought gifts for the children
to spread the joy of Christmas.
Ha ha. Wow. A police car. Is that right?
-And a headlight.
-You're doing well, Francis. You're doing well, Santa.
He also has an ulterior motive.
Someone on this estate knows the craic.
Step right in.
I'm going to ask the kids and we hope to get some information off them.
There's naughty boys about
and they burn trees down.
Tell Santa all the troublemakers round here
so he can cross them off his list.
See you later, folks.
Do you ever see any naughty people who light fires on trees?
It's proving a tough nut to crack.
Francis is asking a few questions.
It's code of conduct, though, isn't it? They're not going to spill the beans, but...
I can't see what information we're going to get off the kids.
The kids weren't any older than five, basically.
Do you want to put your hand in, sweetheart?
-I was talking to you.
Ha ha ha.
Hello. Do you want to come and sit on my knee?
Do you want to go and see Santa?
No, I mean you.
Is that your mother outside?
Is she married?
Why's she not married?
Do you want to give her that?
Santa can come to her house.
Francis has made some new friends...
I think it's great what he's done for the kids.
I mean, how many other people in the local area would do this?
I've personally not seen it in all my time living in the area.
Well, that was hard work, wasn't it?
..but is no closer to identifying the tree killer.
One of those kids could tell the parents
and it could solve the case and crack the nut.
The mothers are asking have you got their presents now.
He'll have some presents for them.
Not in this sack, though.
They're in a different sack.
Francis' big fight is just around the corner.
To get fit, to get into tip-top condition,
I need a special weapon.
He's stepping up his training regime...
I wish this thing went up a few gears.
..with a little help from Rachel.
She pushes me in training. She's a personal fitness guru.
So, she can torture my arse up the bank.
Come on! Get them knees up.
To get to his fighting weight, Francis needs to lose two stone.
Come on, keep going.
For Rachel, there are additional benefits to the session.
Another five minutes, he'll be begging to sit in the basket.
I'm going to run you over.
I do enjoy pushing him for his training.
Gives me a chance to get my own back sometimes when I can shout
abuse at him and make him do hard workouts. That's my little revenge.
Francis, come on, slack alley.
-What number are you on?
-I had it on flat-out, maximum speed.
The race is on to be named Sparta employee of the year...
Where you off to tonight, then?
Over the industrial estate.
Are you, in your shirt and tie? A bit dressed up, aren't you.
Yeah, cos I'm professional, Phillip.
..so the whole workforce need to impress the boss.
I've had a rough few days, girls.
Have you? It's a good job you've got us to look after you.
Can you whisper in my ear as well?
-What do you want me to whisper?
-Whisper whatever you want to whisper.
-I want a pay rise.
Rachel and Claire are targeting Francis' weak point
to boost their chances of success.
-That's nice, that, like.
-You sure it's not hurting you?
Oh, it's giving me a semi-on, to be honest. It is, aye.
Glad I'm at this end.
Rachel's very, very good.
She is, you know?
But there's someone there that's impressing me. He is, aye.
That is nice, surprisingly.
Sparta's going to war, sweetheart.
Oh, yes, he is.
He's got a machine gun and he's got a shotgun.
Composure, composure, composure.
Hit, that's it.
He breathes to box.
He wakes up to box. It's his entire life.
I think without boxing Francis would be totally lost.
Boxing to Francis is everything.
It's everything. It makes his heart beat.
Tonight's opponent, Dan Lennon.
Fearless is my fighting name. Fearless.
Not to say I'm the hardest man, but I'm the gamest man.
I'm game as a badger.
For Francis, the fight is the climax of a long, tough year.
He's battled hard for the people of Darlo.
For himself, he has one more round to get through.
I'm wanting him to be a stepping stone.
I'm wanting the world title.
It's very important to him to win his fight.
He's trained hard for it and I think if he doesn't win his fight
it'll break his heart, probably.
That's the shot, Francis.
And again. That's it, keep the pressure.
That's the one. Finish him, Francis.
Put it, put it, put it. Finish him off.
Down to the judges now.
Like Rocky says, you've got to get back on with it.
Get on with life. Sometimes you get kicks and rocks in life and things happen,
but a warrior, a champion keeps going.
In the case of the Redhall tree vandal,
there's been a breakthrough.
So, Pembo, I know a name.
Right? I'm going to have a walk down, see if he's there.
An anonymous tip-off has given Francis the identity of the culprit
so the trap could be closing.
Let's ask God. Dear God, let us see the fire starter.
Lord God, give him this there, make peace, Amen.
As it's Christmas, Francis plans to donate a safer bonfire accessory
as an alternative to burning trees.
I'll go over there first, hide behind that tree.
Francis and Pembo split up to prepare a pincer movement.
Which part of the woods are they in?
Oh, that sun's in my eyes.
Where are they at?
They're here. They're here. They're here. They're here.
Yeah, they're here.
Francis hopes to catch the culprit in the act...
They've reached the two of them up here. They've lit that one.
..but he may have been rumbled
Have they seen us?
I'm going to go over.
So, they've gone.
Francis gives chase through what's left of the trees
with Pembo trying to keep up.
Where are you going?
Youse all scarpered off. Like, just run up the bank.
I was only going to talk to you.
I've got you a present. We've got you a little fire bin.
Stop doing trees, will you, lads? Put it in there.
Plenty of trees have been burnt around here. 20 trees.
The man denies involvement.
Well, that's fine, isn't it? Put it in there and burn it.
Take care, son, all right?
Don't run from me again, you little...
What do you think he'll do with that bin?
Francis hopes his campaign will deter whoever is responsible.
If not, he plans to take the matter further.
Listen, we're not going to do much cos we're not no police.
We's, er, Pembocus and Spartacus.
And so, at the end of the day there,
I'm going to pass it on to the police.
They do their job. They're fantastic in Darlington.
Take it out of our hands. Do what they do. Well done, bitch.
It's the night of the Sparta Security Christmas party.
I'm going in style.
Rachel wants to make a big entrance.
We only go out once a year, really to, erm,
all the staff together, so I've booked myself a little limousine.
Her chariot is a bespoke classic, courtesy of Davey.
It was an ex-funeral car.
Then I got it vinyl-wrapped, white,
and I put some disco lights in the back.
Good evening, madam.
-Are you looking forward to Christmas, Davey?
Who do you think'll get employee of the year, then?
I haven't got a clue.
Thank you. Davey.
The creme de la creme of Sparta's staff and clients
are assembled for the occasion.
Christmas party tonight. Festive period.
Everyone's jolly waiting for the captain of the ship to come.
I'm more like a billionaire. Not a millionaire, a billionaire.
I think I'm going to get in the ring, do you know what I'm saying there?
Who wants it?
It's kind of, you know, just a chance to let your hair down
and have a bit of fun, isn't it?
As well as refreshments,
there's a question on everyone's lips.
This is crunch time, baby.
Big fight, live. What's happening?
Who has got the employee of the year?
Thank you very much for coming to the Christmas party.
I hope there's going to be no animosity when whoever wins
the prize wins it, cos after all, there can only be one winner.
We've been looking for a Spartan,
a Spartan warrior, the one who goes above and beyond the call of duty.
Jordan, James, Wogan and myself,
because we've been here one of the longest, you know what I mean?
I had to go through the list.
Jordan, you were one of the first ones to go.
Next to Davey.
I think Rachel deserves it. Yeah, Rachel deserves it.
If there's no Rachel, there'd be no Sparta.
Rachel is the brain behind the operations and it is...
She is a diamond.
I don't want any animosity about it, but I've made my choice.
Somebody who has been at the Sparta Empire, right,
who I don't give enough credit to.
Who takes the company into awesome waters
and, you know, they keep the ship going.
The employee of 2015,
The Spartan, chosen by Francis as best of the best is...
..and his name's Francis Jones, over there.
-He's a fucking boyo. He's the boyo.
I'm telling you, he's a very, very good looking lad.
Listen, I appreciate it.
Well, drink to me, then.
Francis' long-term manager was a very close second.
The others don't come close to Rachel Bruce,
because she goes above and beyond.
She's passionate about the job.
but it come to me in a vision.
I asked God for a vision and I heard the Lord say to me,
he says, "Francis, why not you?"
When God speaks to you, you just have to do what he says.
Do you think he is the best employee Sparta has?
It's his business, he dreamed the whole thing up,
but as in work-wise,
he'd rather be in the gym.
No, I don't think. I think somebody else deserves it.
It will annoy a few of us, but what can you say, he's the gaffer.
Christopher Columbus sailed the oceans, there.
He went across the seas. He wanted to go into lands that was untouched.
And, you know, there's a Christopher Columbus here, you know,
but he's called Spartacus.
He is, like, because he wants to go to places no-one's been before.
I want the flag to be up there, you know?
I want to sail.
I want to go to the lands, right,
where you think, "Wow! Go, Sparta."
and have a prosperous 2016.
Seriously, have an awesome Christmas.
Show love, be kind, help someone
and be a blessing to the creator who's put you on this planet.
That's to the bitches
Special Christmas episode of the documentary series following Sparta Security, a Darlington-based private security firm. Sparta is run by well-known local character Francis Jones, who has given behind-the-scenes access to himself, his staff and their operations, as they resolve to clean up the streets of Darlington.
Francis is searching for Sparta's Employee of the Year. The lucky winner will receive a prize, but Francis has some tricks up his sleeve to find out who's really pulling their weight and all will be revealed at the Sparta Christmas party.
Elsewhere, Francis is asked to help stamp out a mysterious outbreak of tree vandalism on a local estate. He turns to an old employee for help, and in festive costume they try and catch the culprit. Francis is also trying to restart his boxing career. With Rachel acting as drill instructor he sheds the pounds for a comeback fight.