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1970s 1980s BBC Play For Today

Play for Today: The Top 21

This is the conclusion of a series of posts in which we have published selections of ‘top’ Plays for Today 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 […]

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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 […]

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1970s 1980s BBC drama Play For Today

My Ten Plays for Today: John Hill

This is the latest in a series of posts in which we publish the ‘top ten’ or ‘top five’ 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 […]

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1970s BBC Northern Ireland Play For Today Wilson John Haire

Play for Today: The Dandelion Clock

By Simon Farquhar Written by Wilson John Haire, produced by Ann Scott and directed by John Bruce. Broadcast at 9.25pm on Thursday, 15 May 1975. Despite being one of the first television dramas to be set amidst the Troubles, Wilson John Haire’s simple and sincere The Dandelion Clock, broadcast on 15 May 1975, has been […]

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1970s 1980s BBC Caryl Churchill Colin Welland Dominic Behan Joyce Neary Ken Trodd Northern Ireland Play For Today Ron Hutchinson Stewart Parker Wilson John Haire

Play for Today and Northern Ireland

In February 1980, The South Bank Show featured an item, presented by Richard Hoggart, on the scarcity of television drama concerned with the conflict in Northern Ireland. There were probably two main reasons for this. The BBC in Northern Ireland had little experience of drama production and, unlike English Regions Drama in Birmingham and BBC […]

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1970s BBC John Hopkins Play For Today Writers

Play for Today: A Story to Frighten the Children

By Simon Farquhar Written by John Hopkins, directed by Herbert Wise and produced by Graeme McDonald. Broadcast on BBC1 at 9.25pm on Tuesday 3 February 1976 On a good day, no television playwright could churn up emotional nausea quite as mercilessly as John Hopkins. Originally a floor manager at Granada television, in 1957 his life […]

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1970s BBC drama John Harvey-Flint Play For Today Writers

Play for Today: Edward G – Like the Film Star

by Simon Farquhar Written by John Harvey-Flint, produced by Graeme McDonald and directed by James Ferman. Broadcast at 9.25pm on Monday 11 June 1973. It feels regrettably apt that John Harvey-Flint’s quietly fascinating Play for Today, Edward G – Like the Film Star, has fallen into obscurity, junked shortly after its sole broadcast in 1973. […]

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1970s 1980s BBC BBC English Regions Drama Events Irene Shubik Ken Trodd Northern Ireland Peter Ansorge Play For Today Richard Eyre Scotland Tara Prem Writers

Play for Today at 50 : Interviews and Presentations

Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th October 2020 Beginning on BBC1 on Thursday 15 October 1970, and continuing until 1984, Play for Today was one of the most important series ever of British television drama. Running to over 300 individual plays and regularly commanding audiences of several millions, the series won a reputation for artistic experiment […]

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1970s BBC BBC Pebble Mill Billy Smart David Edgar David Rudkin Gangsters Peter Ansorge Tom May

Philip Martin (1938-2020) Part Three: Peter Ansorge on script editing Gangsters (BBC 1976-78), plus contributions from David Edgar and David Rudkin.

 Introduction by Tom May  While Philip Martin’s television drama work might be justifiably termed as non-naturalistic, experimental, postmodernism or popular modernism, his can also simply be described as a truly original voice.[1]   I only encountered Philip near the end of his well-lived life, via the technological apparatus of Zoom I conducted two interviews in the summer […]

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1970s BBC BBC drama BBC English Regions Drama BBC Pebble Mill Billy Smart Gangsters Philip Martin Philip Saville Play For Today Tom May

Philip Martin (1938-2020) Part One: Philip Martin on Gangsters (BBC Play for Today, 1975, and series, 1976-78)

Philip Martin, who died last December, was the author of two Play for Todays – Gangsters (1975, which subsequently spun off into two BBC series, 1976-78) and The Remainder Man (1982). Forgotten Television Drama pays tribute by publishing an article in three parts, drawn from extensive interviews with Martin conducted by Tom May last year. […]