TV UK TV

Paper Roses (ITV 1971 with Bill Maynard and Williams Simons)

UK / ITV Network – Granada / 1×55 minute episode / Broadcast 13 June 1971

Writer: Dennis Potter / Production Design: Alan Price / Producer: Kenith Trodd / Director: Barry Davis

Drama Paper Roses focuses on ageing Fleet Street jouranlist Clarence Hubbard as goes through a crisis thanks to his impending retirement. The play was probably based on the sort of tabloid experience Potter had known while working for the Daily Herald. There is much use of fake headlines, Potter’s trademark 1930’s songs (especially Happy Days are Here Again) and Bill Maynard is very good playing against type as the world weary reporter whose usefulness in life he feels is coming to an end.

Hubbard mostly comes across as very bitter and in various flashbacks moments is very cruel to his wife, hitting her and actually locking her in the cupboard under the stairs at one stage and despite its essentially melancholic air, there is also a lot of humour in the script (as well as some deliberate out to shock dialogue which seems tame now but would have been another example of Potter’s stance back then). In a novel twist and also a swipe at his own former role as a TV critic and our own view of what we are watching Potter features a TV critic commenting on the play we are watching.

Bill Maynard and William Simons would later go on to appear together in Heartbeat for many years.

cast
BILL MAYNARD as Clarence Hubbard
DONALD GEE as John Chart
JOHN CARSON as Joe
DESMOND PERRY as Bladdy
AIMEE DELAMAIN as Mrs. Hubbard
DUDLEY JONES as The Critic
JOE GLADWIN as Messenger
DESMOND PERRY as Harold Bladdy
WILLIAM SIMONS as Chris Payer
ROSALIE WILLIAMS as Neighbour
PETER CHILDS as Police Constable
HARRY BEETY as Police Sergeant
KIM CORLETTE as Anne

back to UK TV Drama Guide