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Helen – A Woman Of Today (ITV Drama, Alison Fiske, Martin Shaw)

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Helen A Woman Of Today ITV Drama Alison Fiske Martin Shaw

In Helen – A Woman of Today the Helen (Alison Fiske) of the title is an archetypal conventional housewife in her thirties who changes her life after discovering her husband Frank has been having an affair. She decides to divorce him and improve her life, going on to study.

Producer Richard Bates had the idea for Helen – A Woman of Today several years earlier during filming of the series A Man of Our Times (which starred George Cole) and wanted to make a female version. He farmed the idea around to several of the ITV Regions telling TV Times (Sep 15, 1973) “I tried it on practically every company and they all rejected it. Some kept it for months before making a decision. Then I put it up to London Weekend Television and they bought it the next day!”

The series was proper grown up television and was a popular success, Alison Fiske was expected to become something of a big star but in the event didn’t act on screen for another five years and then settled into character roles. Martin Shaw on the other hand was already pretty well known and did go on to become one of the UK’s most popular actors.

Cast: Alison Fiske as Helen Tulley; Martin Shaw as Frank Tulley; Christopher Ballantyne as Chris Tulley; Diana Hutchinson as Diana Tulley; Sharon Duce as Carole; Sheila Gish as Jenny; Andonia Katsaros as Mern; Ian Stirling as Peter Shardlow

Creator and Producer: Richard Bates / Theme Music: Christopher Gunning

UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 13×50 minute episodes / 21 September – 14 December 1973