In Confrontation Christopher and Alice have now spent two months apart but they are due to meet at a long standing tradition – a visit to a local primary school to judge a painting competition. Meanwhile Ron Hibbert and his activist group are now openly trying to oust Christopher from his constituency seat. Collinson decides to bite back in a revealing TV interview whilst at the school.
Hibbert confronts Collinson at the hotel where he is staying. Hibbert gives Christopher a heartfelt piece of his mind. A long, excellent speech criticising Christopher and his class and his privileged background. Collinson takes it all stony faced and walks away with a word about nothing being able to corrupt Hibbert’s immaculate prejudice. Superb stuff.
Later, alone in his hotel room with Alice, he tells her he wants her back. Alice though is still very withdrawn from him. The situation isn’t helped when Christopher then feels the need to tell her about Millie.
The school seen in the episode was Collyhurst Primary School in Manchester which just happened to be where director John Irvin’s daughter Emily attended.
“You have survived here on looks, charm, eloquence, family image, it’s a bloody confidence trick because it’s all hidden your basic indifference to us. Yes, Chris the attack is personal.” – Ron Hibbert
UK / ITV – Granada / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Tuesday 2 December 1975 at 9.00pm
Writer: Arthur Hopcraft / Production Design: Eugene Ferguson / Director: John Irvin
Series: The Nearly Man Episode 5
Tony Britton as Christopher Collinson
Ann Firbank as Alice Collinson
David Wilkinson as David Collinson
Ian McCulloch as Peter Richatrds
Wilfred Pickles as Bernard King
Michael Elphick as Ron Hibbert
Vernon Dobtcheff as Hugh
Nigel Havers as Clive
Rhoda Lewis as Elsie
Jon Morrison as Alan
Paul McDowell as Gordon
John Flanagan as Tony
Gerry Cowan as TV Director
Olga Canavan as Billy
Peter Firmani as Head waiter