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Bill Brand (ITV 1976, Jack Shepherd, Cherie Lunghi)

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Drama series about Northern lecturer Bill Brand who becomes a Labour MP, moves to London and finds that his new life is not all beer and skittles. His ideals lead him to very quickly ruffle a few feathers before he is taken under the wing of Employment minister David Last, becoming his Parliamentary Private Secretary. When Prime Minister Arthur Watson is taken ill it sparks off a whole raft of in-party fighting as Last attempts to take over. Brand learns the hard way that there are no easy solutions when it comes to politics.

A fabulous series with a stand out downbeat central performance from Jack Shepherd in a sea of fine performances from talents such as Alan Badel, Lynn Farleigh and a very young Cherie Lunghi. At the start of the series Brand is still married but having an affair with Lunghi’s right-on activist Alex Ferguson by the time he is ready to take up office in London a divorce is in the offing.

Written by the superb Trevor Griffiths (who found during the writing real life events within the Labour party echoing his own scripts) and directed by the likes of Michael Lindsay-Hogg and Roland Joffe, Bill Brand remains just as relevent and watchable today as it did on original broadcast in 1976. The only negative note in the whole thing (and this is just a quibble) would be that the tune seems a bit too upbeat considering that Brand himself is such a non-vibrant person.

Bill Brand

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 11×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 June – 16 August 1976

Writer: Trevor Griffiths / Series Advisor: Lewis Minkin / Associate Producer: Michael Harvey / Music: Jack Trombey / Production Design: David Ferris, Harry Clark / Executive Producer: Stella Richman / Producer: Stuart Burge

cast
Jack Shepherd as Bill Brand
Lynn Farleigh as Miriam Brand
Karen Silver as Jane Brand
Allan Surtees as Alf Jowett
Cherie Lunghi as Alex Ferguson
Dave Hill as Eddie Brand
Clifford Kershaw as Frank Hilton
Alan Badel as David Last
Harry Markham as Mr Brand
Anne Dyson as Mrs Brand
Colin Jeavons as Bernard Shaw
Geoffrey Palmer as Frear
Rosemary Martin as Winnie Scoular
John Barrett as Albert Stead
Ray Smith as Willie Moores
Peter Copley as Maddocks

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TV

Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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TV

Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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BBC 2 Logo

In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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TV

Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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