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Saturday Night Theatre: Faith and Henry (ITV Sat 6 Dec 1969, Hilary Baker, John Barron)

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London Weekend Television

In Faith and Henry two teenagers, the Faith and Henry of the title, both go to the same school and although Henry isn’t really on Faith’s radar she is certainly on his. At the end of a typical school day at Rivington High School he shyly asks if can walk her home – and yes he can. Much of the rest of the action centres on their walk home as they climb over the waste hills from the factories and along the canal and the streets of St Helens. Both are Lancashire born and bred but with one difference – Faith is black, the daughter of West Indian immigrants. The real heart of the drama though is that for these two youngsters, colour simply doesn’t matter.

This was a well remembered entry in the Saturday Night Theatre strand, written by the always reliable Julia Jones (who would often work with Donald Churchill) – most notably on popular 1970’s comedy drama Moody & Pegg) and directed by Jack Gold. Shot on location, the drama was a co-production with Kestrel Films.

There was also a two page feature on drama with a focus on Hilary Baker who played Faith. Both young actors were making their debuts and the interview saw Hilary taking the magazine on a stroll through her home town of Liverpool. Hilary, who had moved to London, was surprised to find that the house she was born in had been knocked down – part of the council’s redevelopment plans for the city.

Baker also talked about getting the part, it was actually her sister that had initially read for the part of Faith.

production details
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television – Kestrel Films / 1×55 minute episode / Broadcast Saturday 6 December 1969 at 10.10pm

Series: Saturday Night Theatre

Writer: Julia Jones / Camera: Tony Mander / Film Editor: Dave Elliott / Producer: Kenith Trodd / Director: Jack Gold

cast
Hilary Baker as Faith
John Baron as Henry
Joe Gladwyn as Mr Forshaw
Allan Surtees as Harry
Julia Jones as Ada
Myrtle Robinson as Constance
Charles Hyatt as John