TV UK TV

Bluebell (BBC-1 1986 with Carolyn Pickles and Philip Sayer)

Period drama series. The true story of Margaret Kelly who rose from a poor background to found her own Bluebell Dance Troupe in Paris. The 8 parter began in Liverpool in the 1920’s when times were hard. Kelly, living with her Aunt Mary was advised by her doctor to take up dancing to toughen her up and before you can say Hollywood musical she is touring Europe eventually finding a home at the Folies Bergere in Paris.

World war II breaks things up though especially when her Jewish husband Marcel is interned in a concentration camp (although he does manage to escape and goes into hiding).

An atmospheric series with plenty of musical numbers, it could have had the potential to run on but the story was in effect told. It was popular with male viewers too thanks to the plentiful topless scenes of the Bluebell girls in action.

production details
UK / BBC-1 / 8×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 12 January – 2 March 1986

Creator: Paul Wheeler / Choreography: Anthony Van Laast / Music: Ilona Sekacz / Executive Producer: Richard Bates

cast
CAROLYN PICKLES as Margaret Kelly
PHILIP SAYER as Marcel Leibovici
ANNIE LAMBERT as Helen
MICHAEL N. HARBOUR as Paul
GERALDINE NEWMAN as Emily
CARMEL McSHARRY as Aunt Mary
IAN THOMPSON as Alfred Jackson
PETER REEVES as Maurice Chevalier
GILLIAN WINN as Tess
JOHN ARNATT as Pierre
THELMA RUBY as Mistinguett
MIRANDA COE as Lucy
ANTHONY HERRICK as Guy
ALAN DOWNER as Lefebre
ANN HEFFERNAN as Mme Reynard





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