Nearly Man, The (ITV 1974-1975, Tony Britton, Ann Firbank)

In The Nearly Man back bench Labour MP Christopher Collinson finds that it is difficult to juggle his professional career and his personal life. After having spent 17 years on the back bench Collinson gets the opportunity to pursue a front bench position.

The series began as a one off ITV Playhouse broadcast on 4 August 1974, the drama picked up Broadcasting Press Guild Award for best single play of the year. Following a repeat of that production the seven part series began. In the play Collinson’s surname was Tomlinson but all other details remained the same. The name change came about because there was a real life MP called Tomlinson in the House of Commons.

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The series itself has a nicely discordant jazz theme by Giles Swayne and typically disturbing Gerald Scarfe drawn titles.

Tony Britton as Chris Collinson
Ann Firbank as Alice Collinson
Wilfred Pickles as Bernard King
Michael Elphick as Ron Hibbert
Ian McCulloch as Peter Richards
John Leyton as Brian Griffin
Gwen Taylor as Dorothy Hibbert

crew details
Writer: Arthur Hopcraft
Theme Music: Giles Swayne
Title Cartoons: Gerald Scarfe
Producers: Peter Eckersley (Play), Jonathan Powell (Series)
Director: John Irvin

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production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – Granada
Duration: 8×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 4 August 1974 (play) and 4 November – 16 December 1974

1. THE NEARLY MAN (4 Aug 74)

1. OPPORTUNITY – MARCH 1975 (4 Nov 75)
2. POWER BASE – APRIL 1975 (11 Nov 75)
3. MILLIE – MAY 1975 (18 Nov 75)
4. RE-SHUFFLE – JUNE 1975 (25 Nov 75)
5. CONFRONTATION – JULY 1975 (2 Dec 75)
6. CASUALTIES – AUGUST 1975 (9 Dec 75)
7. OPTIONS (16 Dec 75)

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.