Dirty God, BBC2, BBC iPlayer, written by Susanne Farrell and Sacha Polak and directed by Sacha Polak.


I expected this to begin with the acid attack. Instead Jade (Vicky Knight) is returning home, but still wearing a see-through face mask until her face settles. Her hopes are pinned on a miracle, that reconstructive facial surgery can return her to the fresh-faced girl she was before the attack. And not this ‘dog’s dinner,’ as she calls it.

 Hospital staff are supportive but warn her that this is as good as it’s going to get and she’ll need to adjust and accept her facial and body scarring. It won’t go away.

Jade’s mum, Lisa (Katherine Kelly) is a glamourous shoplifter. She used her flat on the estate to punt her stuff to other mothers. ‘He destroyed you,’ she later tells her daughter.

Jade’s odyssey is to prove that she has not been destroyed, that she will rise again. A spiritual black guru appears in wings, intermittently, to lick her facial scars and show Lisa she is desired. That’s the way I read it, but I might have been wrong. It’s a bit naff.

Apart from that it’s pitch perfect. Jade’s no goody-two shoes. She wants a life and she wants her baby Rae (Eliza Brady-Girard) back. But when Rae first sees Jade, the toddler screams, she doesn’t recognise her mum. Lisa has to take the baby and her granddaughter back to her flat, which is on the same balcony.

But Jade doesn’t want the other granny, her attacker’s mum, to have any time with her baby.

Jade’s friend Shammy (Rebecca Stone), the same age, but still beautiful, takes her clubbing. Tells her not to worry. Her attacker will get serious time and she’ll never see him again. (With almost a quarter million currently waiting for their cases to be heard in criminal courts in London this is obviously hyperbole). Just on cue, the acid attacker, her ex-boyfriend turns up.

The girls flee, but they’re not alone. Naz (Bluey Robinson) is the love interest. He hitches up with Shammy, but he’s had something of a thing for Jade, which might not have burnt out.

Jade gets a shitty to pay for the promise of reconstructive surgery. She’s been promised online it can be done in Morocco. Flavia (Dana Marineci) shows her the ropes in the call centre in London in which they both work.

These are her allies, Jade’s job is to find herself and find acceptance. Easier said, than done. And it’s done very well. Well worth watching to see the kind of baiting disfigured girls, women, in general, get. Jade gives as good as she gets. That’s the beauty of it. She’s not a fucking wilting English rose.