Hot Money is a British television crime drama film, written by Neil McKay and directed by Terry Winsor, first broadcast on ITV on 12 December 2001.[1] Inspired by the Loughton incinerator thefts, the film stars Caroline Quentin as Bridget Watmore, a cleaner at the Bank of England who hatches a plot "for impoverished workers to pinch cash" before it is incinerated.[2] The film was commissioned by ITV in January 2001, as one of two new projects to star Quentin, with the other, Blood Strangers, following in 2002. Nick Elliott, then controller of drama at ITV, described Quentin as being "...very good at playing very ordinary women."[3] Filming began in February 2001.[3]

Hot Money
Caroline Quentin (left) in ITV's Hot Money (2001).jpg
Caroline Quentin and Kate Williams as Bridget Watmore and Molly Stern
GenreCrime drama
Written byNeil McKay
Directed byTerry Winsor
StarringCaroline Quentin
Gerard Horan
Kate Williams
Georgia Mackenzie
Jay Simpson
Melanie Hill
Cliff Parisi
ComposerColin Towns
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes1
Executive producerJeff Pope
ProducerJeremy Phillips
CinematographyJohn Daly
EditorEdward Mansell
Running time90 minutes
Production companyGranada Television
Original networkITV
Picture format16:9 (576i)
Audio formatStereo
Original release
  • 12 December 2001 (2001-12-12)

The film received a 44% audience share between 9pm and 11pm, where it was screened against a Panorama investigative special programme on BBC One.[4] Consolidated figures revealed the film drew 9.62 million viewers on its debut broadcast.[5] Reception by newspaper critics ranged from "inadequate script" (Daily Telegraph) to "thrilling comedy caper" (Mirror).[6] In 2008, the film was remade in the United States under the title Mad Money, starring Diane Keaton as Bridget, Katie Holmes as Jackie, Queen Latifah as Nina, and Ted Danson as Don. Lindsay Lohan was initially cast to play Jackie, but was replaced due to a lack of completion bond.[7]


Hot Money tells the story of three workers at the Bank of England incinerating plant in Essex. The trio, led by Bridget (Caroline Quentin), hatch a plan to steal thousands of pounds by stashing the notes in their underwear.[8]


Each of the cages containing money set to be incinerated is locked with two padlocks; one black and one white. The key to the white padlock is held by supervisor Liz Hoodless (Melanie Hill), while the only person who holds a black key is boss Mr. Glover (Shaun Curry). Together, they open a cage, the money is counted, placed back in the cage, padlocked again with two new locks by Jackie Haggar (Georgia Mackenzie), and sent to the vault, before it is incinerated. Cleaner Bridget (Caroline Quentin) enlists the help of her colleagues Liz and Jackie to steal the money using the following method:

• While cleaning, Bridget discreetly takes two of the padlocks used to lock the cages of money to be incinerated, a black one and a white one.
• In the bathroom, Bridget spray paints the white padlock black, masking the scent with strong smelling toilet cleaner. She hides the painted padlock in a toilet cistern.
• Jackie, whose job it is to re-padlock the cages after they have been counted, retrieves the painted padlock from the toilet cistern and palms it to the counting room.
• In the counting room, Jackie collects a new white padlock, and pairs it together with the painted black padlock. She locks the cage closed.
• Passing Bridget, who is cleaning in the corridor, she whispers the number of the cage with the painted padlock on it.
• Liz, a supervisor who is a holder of the white key, throws away a cigarette packet containing the white key in to Bridget's bin as they pass in the corridor.
• Bridget heads to the vault, where she quickly locates the correct cage, unlocks the white padlock and the painted black padlock with the same white key, empties the money in to her bin, and locks it back up again with the original white padlock, and a genuine black padlock she stole earlier.
• Back in the bathroom, she meets Liz and Jackie, where they all fill their underwear with the stolen cash. Bridget returns the white key to Liz and washes the black paint off the white padlock with white spirit.
• Bridget returns the painted padlock, now back to being white, in to its case.
• The trio leave work with their contraband.



  1. ^ "Hot Money - ITV TV Classics". 3 May 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  2. ^ "First night: Hot Money". The Guardian. London. 13 December 2001.
  3. ^ a b Hodgson, Jessica (11 January 2001). "More ITV drama for Quentin". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  4. ^ Deans, Jason (13 December 2001). "Hot Money makes off with millions". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  5. ^ "Weekly top 30 programmes on TV sets (July 1998 – Sept 2018) | BARB".
  6. ^ "Hot Money". The Guardian. London. 13 December 2001. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  7. ^ "Mad Money (2008) - IMDb".
  8. ^ "Stealing from the Bank of England". New Strait Times. 20 October 2002. p. 19. Retrieved 29 June 2010.

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