1980s Channel 4 David Rose

Channel 4 Drama – The Early Years

  As we approach the 40th anniversary of Channel 4 on 2 November 2022 – an anniversary which is being marked by a two-day conference at BFI Southbank on 23-24 September – it seems timely to look again at the early years of Channel 4 in the 1980s when a remarkably diverse array of drama […]

Granada Television Obituary Writers

John Finch (1925-2022)

John Finch, who died on 13 February, the day after his 97th birthday, was one of the last survivors of the first generation of Granada Television writers who helped to establish the company as the most progressive of the original ‘Big Four’ ITV companies that launched in 1955-56. While Associated-Rediffusion, ATV and ABC Television were […]

Producers Tony Garnett Troy Kennedy Martin Writers

Tony Garnett on Troy Kennedy Martin

On 18 March 2004 I interviewed Tony Garnett for a book I was researching about the screenwriter Troy Kennedy Martin.[1] The interview began with Garnett talking about his debut as a television actor in Kennedy Martin’s first television play, Incident at Echo Six (1958) and his role as a young tearaway in one of Kennedy […]

Alan Lovell British Film Institute Obituary

Alan Lovell (1935-2021)

The Forgotten Television Drama project owes a debt of gratitude to Alan Lovell, the film educationist, writer and practitioner, who died on 6 May 2021, aged 85. In 1969, while working in the Education Department of the British Film Institute, Lovell presented a seminar paper entitled ‘The British Cinema: the Unknown Cinema’, in which he […]

1960s BBC Directors' Course Brian Parker Directors The Wednesday Play

Brian Parker – Getting Started as a TV Director, 1964-65

Shortly before he died in December 2020 Brian Parker had started to write his memoirs, encouraged apparently by my suggesting it during the course of several months’ correspondence, coupled with the fact that, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, he was sheltering in the Trossachs with no television! If that was the case I wish I’d […]

1970s BBC English Regions Drama Brian Parker David Rose Directors Obituary Play For Today Second City Firsts

Brian Parker (1929-2020)

Brian Parker, who died on 8 December 2020, had a long and eclectic career in television, initially as an actor and then as director of a wide variety of television drama, including popular series such as the BBC’s Softly Softly (from 1966-71) and The Troubleshooters (1966-68), YorkshireTelevision’s Hadleigh (1969-71), Granada Television’s Crown Court (1973-77) and […]

1970s 1980s BBC drama Paula MIlne Play For Today Writers

Two Plays for Today by Paula Milne

Of the 298 plays shown as part of Play for Today from 1970-84 just 34 were written by women.[1] 26 women writers, in total, contributed to Play for Today, several writing two plays (Julia Jones wrote four). One of these writers was Paula Milne, whose two Plays for Today were broadcast in 1982. They came […]

1970s 1980s BBC drama Directors Mike Leigh Play For Today

Mike Leigh and Play for Today

The following interview was recorded on 14 July 2000 in the bar of the North Stafford Hotel in Stoke-on-Trent. Mike Leigh had travelled up to Stoke from London to receive an Honorary Degree from Staffordshire University, where I was Principal Lecturer in Media Studies, and I was transporting him to and from Trentham Gardens, where […]

1970s Actors Barry Hanson BBC English Regions Drama Brian Parker David Halliwell David Rose Joyce Hawkins Play For Today Regional Drama

Play for Today: Steps Back

Written by David Halliwell, directed by Brian Parker and produced by David Rose. Broadcast on BBC1 at 9.25pm on Monday 14 May 1973 Steps Back was the second Play for Today by David Halliwell, broadcast six months after Triple Exposure (6 November 1972), his only other Play for Today. Halliwell was, and probably still is, […]

1950s 1960s 1970s BBC BBC drama Gilchrist Calder Obituary Producers Tony Garnett Troy Kennedy Martin

Tony Garnett (1936-2020)

Following the death of Tony Garnett, on 12 January 2020, obituary writers and those paying tribute to him understandably focused on his hugely influential career as a radical television producer, sometimes noting that he had begun his career as an actor in series such as An Age of Kings (BBC, 1960), Emergency – Ward 10 […]