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Man and Boy (BBC-1 2002, Ioan Gruffud, Natasha Little)

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Minder (ITV 1979-1994, George Cole Dennis Waterman)

In drama Man and Boy Harry Silver hits 30 and panics. He’s a successful TV producer, has a beautiful wife and the perfect child. But he throws it all away in a moment of infidelity.

After Harry’s one night stand, his shattered wife leaves him and gets a job as a translator in Japan. Harry’s left to bring up their young son Pat and confront the realities of fatherhood. He comes to rely on his own parents and starts to examine the role they’ve played in his own life. Ioan Gruffudd (Harry) and co-star Dominic Howell (Pat) quickly hit it off on set and discovered a shared love of computer games. “I love children and I love being around them,” reveals Ioan, “The most surprising thing was how Dominic responded to me. That made me feel fantastic – that he trusted me. We had a lot of fun.” Not being a father himself, Ioan turned to dad of two, director Simon Curtis, for advice. “Simon was able to offer a valuable insight into how children respond to certain situations.”

Ioan Gruffudd had just turned 28 when he was offered the role, so found himself in the unusual position on television of playing an older character. “Harry was a stepping stone for me to arrive at 30 with confidence,” he admits. “For an actor the part had everything. A relationship with a boy and his father, a relationship with two women, and an opportunity to run the whole gamut of emotion. All in one character – an actor’s dream.”

Among the cast of Man and Boy are Jack Shepherd and Pauline Collins as Harry’s parents Paddy and Betty. Harry has a strained relationship with his father, who’s unsympathetic to his son’s situation. He must also deal with egotistic chat show host Marty Mann, played by Ian McShane. At first, Harry handles the presenter with great skill. But following a disastrous encounter between Marty and a guest live on air, Harry’s life begins to crumble around him. Meanwhile, Harry’s wife Gina, played by Natasha Little, is missing out on her son growing up – precious moments such as his first day at school. Harry’s love interest Cyd, is played by American actress Elizabeth Mitchell, ER’s Dr Kim Legaspi.

Tony Parsons, author of ‘Man and Boy’ Novelist and journalist Tony Parsons wrote Man and Boy in 1999. It went on to become a best-selling novel in over 30 countries worldwide and has sold over 1.5 million copies. Tony was eager to make an appearance in the programme. “I liked the idea of doing a Hitchcock! But after I’d spent all that time on a freezing set in London, doing the same scenes endlessly, I became less enthusiastic about getting my equity card! But I’m glad I’m in there.”

production details
UK / BBC1 / 1x105m / Broadcast Saturday 30 March 2002 at 9:30pm (NOTE: Was rescheduled to 9:30 from original 9.00pm scheduled time due to coverage of the Queen Mother’s death)

Writer: Kevin Hood / Novel: Tony Parsons / Script Editor: Kate Lewis / Music: Rob Lane / Executive Producer: Laura Mackie / Producer: Kate Harwood / Director: Simon Curtis.

cast
Ioan Gruffudd as Harry Silver
Natasha Little as Gina Silver
Elizabeth Mitchell as Cyd Mason
Ian McShane as Marty Mann
Pauline Collins as Betty Silver
Jack Shepherd as Paddy Silver
Shelley Conn as Jasmine
Neil Conrich as Car Salesman
Dominic Howell as Pat Silver
Jason Barry as Eamon Fish
Terri Dumont as Sally
Cian Barry as Steve
Gary Bakewell as Jim
Timothy Watson as Richard
Robyn Hitchcock as Glenn
Georgina Rylance as Liza
Cecilia Parker as Peggy Mason
Leah Muller as Doctor Wickham
Glenna Morrison as Miss Waterhouse
William Buckhurst as Cliff
Al Fiorentini as Carlo
Israel Aduramo as Young Waiter
Beverley Longhurst as Triage Nurse
Rebecca Craig as Secretary
Jim McKinney as Vicar

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