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1970s BBC English Regions Drama Brian Parker David Rose Directors 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 […]

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1970s 1980s BBC drama Directors Play For Today Writers

My Ten Plays for Today: Billy Smart

My Ten Plays for Today: Billy Smart 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 […]

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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 […]

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1970s Alan Bridges BBC drama David Mercer Directors Play For Today Writers

Play for Today: The Cellar and the Almond Tree

by Jonathan Owen  Written by David Mercer, directed by Alan Bridges and produced by Graeme McDonald. Broadcast on BBC1 at 9.10pm on Wednesday 4 March 1970 (The Wednesday Play) and on BBC1 at 9.20pm on Thursday 10 June 1971 (Play for Today). David Mercer’s The Cellar and the Almond Tree was first broadcast in 1970 […]

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1970s Alan Bridges BBC Dennis Potter Directors Play For Today Writers

Play for Today: Traitor

By Joseph Oldham Written by Dennis Potter, directed by Alan Bridges and produced by Graeme McDonald. Broadcast on BBC1 at 9.20 pm on Thursday 14 October 1971. ‘Exiled in Moscow’, declared the front cover of the Radio Times (9-15 October 1971), heralding the return of Play for Today for its second series. The main image […]

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1970s 1980s BBC BBC drama BBC English Regions Drama BBC Pebble Mill Black actors Black TV Writers Directors Gay drama John Hill Lesbian drama Northern Ireland Play For Today Radio Times Regional Drama Scotland Writers

Play for Today at 50

Along with Armchair Theatre and The Wednesday Play, Play for Today constitutes one of the most important series of British television drama. Beginning on BBC1 on Thursday 15 October 1970, it continued until 1984, running to over 300 individual plays and regularly commanding audiences of several millions. Launched as a successor to The Wednesday Play […]

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1950s 1960s ATV Directors Johnson Over Jordan Lionel Harris Producers

A Life Found in a Skip: Rediscovering Lionel Harris, TV Producer, Director and Actor

A Life Found in a Skip [1] by Joel Finler Virtually forgotten today, Lionel Harris was one of the leading producer/directors of live television drama in the 1950s when adaptations of the most successful West End plays became a staple fare of both the BBC and ITV. He joined the newly formed ITV in 1955 and […]

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1970s Actors BBC English Regions Drama BBC Pebble Mill Directors Events Interviews Producers Regional Drama Second City Firsts

Second City Firsts – Panel Discussion

Second City Firsts (BBC2, 1973-78) Panel Discussion with Philip Jackson (PJ), Tara Prem (TP), Philip Saville (PS) and Jack Shepherd (JS) chaired by Lez Cooke (LC) Television Drama: The Forgotten, the Lost and the Neglected Conference Royal Holloway, University of London 23 April 2015 LC: Welcome to this session on Second City Firsts (BBC2, 1973-78). […]

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1970s Directors Events Forgotten Television Drama Granada Television Home and Away Interviews ITV Julia Jones Lez Cooke Roy Battersby Writers

Q&A with Roy Battersby: Directing ‘Home and Away’ (ITV/ Granada 1972)

    What follows is a transcript of a Q&A session with director Roy Battersby, following a screening of two episodes of Home and Away (Granada, 1972) at HOME, Manchester on Monday 27 March 2017, shown as part of a short season of Forgotten TV Drama. Home and Away is a 7-part serial written by Julia […]

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1970s Billy Smart Directors DVD Forgotten Television Drama Forgotten TV Drama DVD range ITV LWT Mike Hodges Network Distributing Ltd The Frighteners The Manipulators

‘The Frighteners: The Manipulators’ (LWT 1972): A contemporary review

The Frighteners, the first title in our new ‘Forgotten TV Dramas’ DVD range (in association with Network Distributing) went on sale today. Little seen (even at the time!), not much was ever written about the series, but while researching the Viewing Notes I did come across this perceptive review of Mike Hodges’ episode The Manipulators […]