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Frankie and Johnnie (Screen Two BBC-2 1986, Hywel Bennett)



Screen Two Frankie and Johnnie

Frankie and Johnnie sees Hywel Bennett as journalist Allan Blakeston investigates the apparent suicide of a pair of teenage lovers. The press and the police are convinced that it’s a suicide pact but Allan is sure that there is more to it than that, especially when he is able to talk to the families of both victims and discovers that letters written by the pair on the day they died are missing.

What starts out as a human interest story for Blakeston very quickly becomes something of a conspiracy thriller as he discovers things are being covered up.

With a typically excellent script from Paula Milne and another excellent performance from Hywel Bennett Frankie and Johnnie at times has an almost documentary feel, especially in the scenes of Bennett interviewing the people who knew the victims and the scenes in the paper’s newsroom. Blakeston’s investigation is also hampered somewhat by having to look after his son Adam because it’s half term. Blakeston is separated from his wife and Adam has become increasingly withdrawn.

UK / BBC Two / 1×100 minute episode / Broadcast 2 February 1986 at 10.30pm

Writer: Paula Milne / Script Editor: Martyn Auty / Music: Harry South / Cinematography: Kenneth Macmillan / Production Design: John Bone / Producer: Graham Benson / Director: Martin Campbell

Series: Screen Two Season 2 Episode 4

Hywel Bennett as Allan Blakeston
Madoc Threipland as Adam Blakeston
Sam Kelly as Lomax
Diana Hardcastle as Judith Walters
Tony Doyle as Hank
Trevor Bowen as Richard Jayston MP
Samuel West as Johnnie Mallett
Tamara Steele as Frankie Walters
Roger Hume as Newsagent
Patrick Field as Reporter At Press Conference
Stephen Dillon as Reporter At Press Conference
Victoria Williams as Reporter At Press Conference
Amanda Donohoe as Reporter At Press Conference
Bernard Gallagher as Police Superintendent
Anthony Douse as Frank, Coroner’s Officer
Chrissie Conway as Neighbour
Betty Francis as Neighbour
Jenny Springer as Neighbour
Jonathan Truss as Neighbour
Rachel Herbert as Moira Mallett
Norman Jones as Mr Walters
Anita Carey as Patti Blakeston
Christopher Hancock as Chronicle Editor
Melanie Kilburn as Reporter At Chronicle
Phillip Reader as Reporter At Chronicle
Steve Nallon as Reporter At Chronicle
Renny Krupinski as Reporter At Chronicle
Chris Jenkinson as Reporter At Chronicle
Nick Elsworth as Reporter At Chronicle
Andrew Black as Reporter At Chronicle
Trevor Bowen as Richard Jayston, MP
Sidney Livingstone as Caravan Park Warden
Ken Bones as Detective Inspector Mercer
Barry Woolgar as Special Branch Officer
Richard Simpson as Peter Harper
Marty Cruickshank as Laura
John Turner as Radio DJ
Charlotte Barker as Photo-Copying Girl
Shelagh Fraser as CND Woman
Bryan Nolan as Taxi Driver
Wilfred Grove as Commissionaire
Llew Gardner as ‘Election Countdown’ Chairman
Ann Morrish as ‘Election Countdown’ Panel
John McArdle as ‘Election Countdown’ Panel
Charles Hodgson as In Audience
Michael Brazier as In Audience
Jill Cary as Studio Floor Manager
James Taylor as Tory Politician On TV
Robert Hickson as London Reporter