Period drama Pride of Our Alley told the life story of Lancashire film star and singer of the thirties and forties, Gracie Fields. Fields was married three times and spent most of her later life living on the island of Capri.
Pride of Our Alley was something of a pet project for Polly Hemingway, then riding high thanks to a co-starring role in ITV series Airline. It was her appearance in this series, set in the 1940s, that led to her interest in Gracie. So many people remarked on the physical similarity of the two that she began to research Gracie’s life.
Speaking to the TV Time Polly explained “normally you come to acting project when all the preliminary work has been done… To be in at the beginning was very exciting. it was also frightening, since it meant risking a lot of time and money to try and sell the idea to a TV company.”
The production is more traditionally play like than a big budget biography. Studio bound and with Polly playing Gracie from the age of 8 to 68.
UK / ITV Network – Yorkshire / 1×75 minutes / Broadcast 23 December 1984
Writer: Alan Plater / Production Design: Jeremy Bear / Executive Producer: David Cunliffe / Producer and Director: Michael Ferguson
Polly Hemingway as Gracie Fields
George Pravda as
Barry Jackson as Archie Pitt
Michael Angelis as Monty Banks
Gordon Dulieu as Pianist
John Bowler as Interviewer
Sally Sanders as Jenny
Mark Jones as Fred
Doyne Byrd as Flanagan