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The Main Chance: A Little Black and White Lie (ITV 5 Oct 1970)

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In A Little Black and White Lie Margaret uncovers a veritable hornets nest involving religion and race when she agrees to help a black Brazilian couple, The Pattino’s, who want to adopt a baby. They have been looking after the baby for four months but the baby’s mother and grandmother have now decided they want the baby back. It looks like they have made the decision based on the colour of the Brazilian couple’s skin.

Old Mrs Donnell is incredibly bigoted dropping the N word and using the word savages to describe the Pattino’s.

David is very angry that Margaret has even took the case, despite the fact that it was his casual girlfriend Edie Semple who brought the case to the practice in the first place. Margaret thinks David is just being bigoted but he is more practical and realises that the publicity could do enormous damage to Castleton and Main.

The real villain of the piece though is the Doctor who organised the adoption in the first place, he’s clearly something of a neo-Nazi and it’s all part of his plan to gain publicity for his cause.

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classic quote
“Oh it’s the British colour bar.”

production details
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Monday 5 October 1970 at 8.30pm

Writer: David Weir / Production Design: Roger Cheveley / Director: John Frankau

Series: The Main Chance Season 2 Episode 4

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cast
John Stride as David Main
Anna Palk as Sarah Courtney
Margaret Ashcroft as Margaret Courtney
Philip Bond as Peter Findon
Georgina Ward as Edie Semple
Valerie Murray as Carla Pattino
Clifton Jones as Manuel Pattino
Douglas Wilmer as Doctor Lowton
Elizabeth Begley as Mrs Donnell
Margaret Brady as Eileen Donnell
Jack May as Harry Turner


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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