Sarah Millican’s top tips for going on the run

"Honestly, if men had handbags, they'd get away with so much more crime..."

By the time you read this, you’ll either have watched all three episodes of ITV’s zippy drama Prey or not (the last one’s on Monday). But this column only contains spoilers of episode one, as that’s all I’ve seen. But ooh I liked it. ITV is nailing dramas at the moment. It was made by production company Red, which is always the seal of approval for me – their back catalogue (Scott & Bailey, Unforgiven) is ace.


In the first episode of Prey, John Simm gets himself into a pretty sticky situation. I’ve done that. You know, the usual things, called a teacher “Mam”, got trapped in a toilet at a gig, run over a deer. But the nightmare situation John Simm’s character, Marcus Farrow, finds himself in is gonna be a beggar to get out of. What I’ve learnt from it so far is that it’s always a bad idea to punch a hole in a wall, as pretty much anything that happens after that, whether it be a broken mug or a family murder, will be pinned on you and “your rage”.

So, with a dead estranged wife and one dead son and, literally, blood on his hands, copper Marcus goes on the run. It made me wonder what I’d be like “on the run”. For starters, there’s one word in those three I’m not fond of. You rarely hear of people being “on the walk”. So that’s the first part I’d struggle with. Maybe I could be “on the run” for one lamppost and then “on the walk” for another, and build it up.

Marcus pushes his way into an old man’s house and asks him for sticky plaster and painkillers for his pen-related injury. I wouldn’t need to do that as I carry both of those with me. Honestly, if men had handbags, they’d get away with so much more crime. Also, he made a mistake when he threw that pen away. Leaving a bloody Bic in a stairwell will lead people to him. And I bet there’ll be a time in the future when he needs a biro. I’d have popped that in my handbag, after first cleaning it with a tissue (also good for removing fingerprints from things, I imagine).

Marcus steals a hoodie off the old man’s neighbour’s washing line and pops it on. God, how many back yards would I have to raid before I found something that fit me? It’d be like wandering around the Trafford Centre. Some crying and then some chocolate. I can hear it on the news: “Six houses in the area have reported having clothes tried on by the suspect, who then angrily discarded them in a tear-stained pile. Mrs Bainbridge of number 42 said the one item not recovered was a very forgiving wraparound dress in a size 18.”

Some fugitives who are “on the lam” (always sounds like someone’s Sunday-lunch meat of choice) have to steal a car. I hate driving other people’s cars. I don’t like driving hire cars as they’re bigger and the buttons are all different. I’d just be running around trying all the doors of small cars I might be able to park, first checking that they’re manual and diesel. “The suspect was finally captured after holding up traffic at the lights on Brinkburn Street and was taken into police custody repeating the words, ‘I couldn’t find the biting point’, and weeping.”

A life of crime is not for me. Unless I lose weight and start test-driving all cars, of course. 

Prey concludes tonight at 9:00pm on ITV.