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1970s BBC drama Play For Today Regional Drama

My Five Plays for Today: Vanessa Jackson

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 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, […]

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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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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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BBC BBC drama BBC English Regions Drama David Rose Lez Cooke Producers Regional Drama

Michael Wearing (1939-2017)

Michael Wearing, who died on 5 May 2017, was one of the talented people David Rose brought into television in the 1970s. Following the recent deaths of Barry Hanson, also recruited by Rose, Philip Saville, with whom Wearing worked on Boys from the Blackstuff, Rose himself in January and Christopher Morahan in April, the last few months […]

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1950s 1960s 1970s BBC BBC drama BBC English Regions Drama Conferences Directors Events Granada Television ITV John Osborne Regional Drama Uncategorized Writers

Reflections on ‘TV’s Forgotten Dramas’ season and conference, BFI Southbank, 2017

By Lez Cooke, John Hill and Billy Smart Programming a season of ‘Television’s Forgotten Dramas’, and encouraging a BFI Southbank audience to come and see them,  presented both challenges and opportunities. The major challenge involved in promoting forgotten dramas is that, by their nature, they are not well-known and titles on their own do not […]

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1960s Granada Television John Finch Regional Drama

‘Forgotten Dramas 2’ at BFI Southbank: ‘It’s Dearer After Midnight’ + ‘The House That Jigger Built’

Our Forgotten Dramas season continues on Friday 10 February at 8.40 pm in NFT2 with a double bill of two Granada dramas from 1968. It’s Dearer After Midnight and The House That Jigger Built were both written by John Finch, a writer probably best-known for A Family at War (Granada, 1970-72) and Sam (Granada, 1973-75), […]

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BBC BBC English Regions Drama BBC Pebble Mill David Rose Producers Regional Drama Second City Firsts

David Rose (1924-2017)

I first met David Rose, who died on 26 January 2017 at the age of 92, at a conference celebrating the work of John McGrath, at Royal Holloway, University of London in April 2002. David had, of course, worked with John McGrath and Troy Kennedy Martin, who was also at the conference, on Z Cars […]

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1970s BBC BBC Pebble Mill Play For Today Producers Regional Drama Second City Firsts

Barry Hanson (1943-2016)

When the film and television producer Barry Hanson died in June 2016 Christopher Hampton wrote an obituary for the Guardian which highlighted Hanson’s best-known productions: The Naked Civil Servant (1975) and The Long Good Friday (1980), referring also to Hanson’s work at the Royal Court Theatre and Hull Arts Centre in the late 1960s, but […]

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1950s 1960s BBC MIdland Events Forgotten Television Drama Regional Drama Uncategorized

Drama from Gosta Green (1956-71)

Although BBC Television began broadcasting in the London area in 1936, television did not come to the Midlands until December 1949 when the Sutton Coldfield transmitter was opened. Initially television programmes transmitted in the Midlands came from London and it was not until late 1951 that TV programmes started to be produced by BBC Midland.