1970s 1980s BBC Ken Trodd Play For Today Producers

My Plays for Today: Ken Trodd

This is the last in a series of posts in which we publish the ‘top’ Plays for Today identified by a range of writers, researchers and media professionals. The brief was that such lists should not necessarily consist of what were considered to be the ‘best’ Plays for Today but could also include personal favourites, or work which it was believed should be better-known. These are the choices of Play for Today producer Ken Trodd.

Brimstone and Treacle

The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black Black Oil (6 June 1974) w. John McGrath d. John Mackenzie p. Graeme McDonald

Leeds United! (31 October 1974) w. Colin Welland, d. Roy Battersby, p. Kenith Trodd

Nuts in May (13 January 1976) w. and d. Mike Leigh, p. David Rose

Licking Hitler (10 January 1978) w. and d. David Hare p. David Rose

Brimstone and Treacle (no Play for Today broadcast) w. Dennis Potter, d. Barry Davis p. Kenith Trodd

Blue Remembered Hills (30 January 1979) w. Dennis Potter d. Brian Gibson p. Kenith Trodd

Blue Remembered Hills

In addition to listing his favourite Plays for Today, Trodd also suggested the following of his Play for Today productions are worth ‘unearthing’, adding that ‘this may be the last chance for some of these titles to catch the light’.

An excerpt from an interview with Roy Battersby and Ken Trodd (with John Hill) about Leeds United! may also be found below:

Jack Point (1 November 1973) w. Colin Welland d.Michael Apted

Baby Blues (6 December 1973) w. Nemone Lethbridge d. James MacTaggart

Schmoedipus (20 June 1974) w. Dennis Potter d. Barry Davis

Baby Love (7 November 1974) w. David Edgar d. Barry Davis

Taking Leave (28 November 1974) w. Joyce Neary d. John Mackenzie

Fugitive (5 December 1974) w. Sean Walsh d. Peter Gill

Two Sundays (21 October 1975) w. Simon Gray d. Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Tiptoe Through the Tulips (16 March 1976) w. Beryl Bainbridge d. Claude Whatham

Double Dare (6 April 1976) w. Dennis Potter d. John Mackenzie

Coming Out (10 April 1979) w. James Andrew Hall d. Carol Wiseman

United Kingdom (8 December 1981) w. Jim Allen d. Roland Joffé

Soft Targets (19 October 1982) w. Stephen Poliakoff d. Charles Sturridge


Leeds United! Excerpt from an interview with Roy Battersby and Ken Trodd (with John Hill)

KENITH TRODD is a British television producer perhaps best known for his long association with television playwright Dennis Potter. His productions of Potter’s plays for Play for Today were Schmoedipus (1974), Double Dare and the banned Brimstone & Treacle (both 1976), and Blue Remembered Hills (1979). His other producing credits for Play for Today, totalling 30, include The Operation (1973), Leeds United! (1974), Your Man from Six Counties (1976), Shadows on Our Skin (1980), and dramas by Jim Allen, William Trevor, Simon Gray and Carol Bunyan.  He initially joined the BBC as an assistant to Roger Smith, script editor of The Wednesday Play. Subsequently with Tony Garnett, Ken Loach, Dennis Potter and others, he set up Kestrel Productions, which made a number of productions for London Weekend Television. He also worked as a producer for Granada, where he produced the serial Home and Away (1972) by Julia Jones before rejoining the BBC. In 1978 he produced Dennis Potter’s ground-breaking six-part serial Pennies from Heaven and later the playwright’s serials The Singing Detective (1986), Karaoke and Cold Lazarus (both 1996),  His other productions include the feature film adaptation of J.L. Carr’s A Month in the Country (1987), the Stephen Poliakoff-scripted Caught on a Train (1980) and Mike Leigh’s Four Days in July (1984).


One reply on “My Plays for Today: Ken Trodd”

This has been a fantastic series of blog entries–thank you so much. Came to your blog after seeing a couple of intriguing Plays for Today (streaming on Britbox to my small screen in Canada) and sincerely hope there’ll be more available.

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