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Play For Today: Spend Spend Spend (BBC-1 1977, Susan Littler, John Duttine)

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True story Spend Spend Spend is set in the early 1960’s and tells the story of Vivien Nicholson who wins a fortune on the pools and just as quickly sets about living the high life and losing it all.

The drama begins with Viv and her husband Keith accepting their pools winning check before this well remembered Jack Rosenthal scripted Play For Today then flashes backwards and forwards to Viv’s glamorous new world of money, money money and the hard times of her upbringing.

Rosenthal is a master hand at the tiller here, keeping things nice and straightforward, the strongest scenes are those with Viv as a young woman, showing how strong she is and why she ended up burnt out and broke the way she did summed up by her performing in a night club singing whilst dressed in a bikini.

A real comic-tragedy with a fabulous central performance from Susan Littler as Viv who on the basis of this should have had a big career but in 1982 died tragically young from cancer at just 33.

production details
UK / BBC-1 / 1×75 minutes / Broadcast 15 March 1977 @ 9.25pm

Writer: Jack Rosenthal / Book: Vivian Nicholson, Stephen Smith / Script Editor: Colin Tucker / Costumes: Amy Roberts / Production Design: Derek Dodd / Director: John Goldschmidt

cast
SUSAN LITTLER as Vivian Nicholson
JOHN DUTTINE as Keith Nicholson
HELEN BECK as Vivian’s Mother
JOE BELCHER as Vivian’s Father
STEPHEN BILL as Matthew
LIZ SMITH as Keith’s Granny
ANNIE HULLEY as Girlfriend
PHILIP JOSEPH as Gary
JOHN LYONS as Public Relations Man
JANE LOWE as Public Relations Girl
PETER MAYOCK as First Reporter
ANDREW BRADFORD as Second Reporter
JACK PLATTS as Taxi Driver
FRED GAUNT as Doctor
JOAN PETERS as First Woman
JOYCE KENNEDY as Second Woman
PETER RUSSELL as First Policeman
GORDON WHARMBY as Second Policeman
BERT OXLEY as Postman
ROBIN BONCEY as Man From the Pools

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TV

Ape And Essence (The Wednesday Play BBC-1 1966, Alec McCowen)

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In Scifi drama Ape and Essence, based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, a group of New Zealand scientists conduct a survey on a Britain ravaged by atomic war 80 years previously.

Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 29

cast
Alec McCowen as Alfred Poole
Robert Eddison as Arch Vicar
Derek Sydney as Chief
Jenny Lee as Flossie
Yvonne Antrobus as Young Girl
Sydney Bromley as Craigie
Martin Carroll as Director of Food
Hazel Douglas as Mies Hook
John Falconer as Patriarch
Petra Markham as Loola
Ken Parry as Science Praet
Amanda Reiss as Polly
Jonathan Scott as Int. Priest
Fiona Fraser as Part of Crowd
Ann Mitchell as Shaven-Head
Jacki Salt as Mulatto Girl
Carol Blake as Shaven-Head
Gordon Craig as Part of Crowd
Robert Cude as First Man

crew details
Writer: John Finch
Book: Aldous Huxley
Music: BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Producer: Peter Luke
Director: David Benedictus.

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 1×75 minute episode
Aired From: 18 May 1966

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TV

Plane Makers, The (ITV 1963-1965, Patrick Wymark, Barbara Murray)

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Plane Makers Patrick Wymark

Drama series The Plane Makers took us behind the scenes in the boardroom and shop floor of the Scott Furlong Aircraft Factory. After two seasons the lead character John Wilder took a place on the board of a merchant bank and the series was then renamed The Power Game.

cast
Patrick Wymark as John Wilder
Jack Watling as Don Henderson
Barbara Murray as Pamela Wilder (Seasons 1-2)
Ann Firbank as Pamela Wilder (Season 3)
Reginald Marsh as Arthur Sugden
Alan Dobie as David Corbett

crew details
Creator: Wilfred Greatorex
Producers: Rex Firkin (seasons 1-2), David Reid (season 3)

production details
Country: UK
Network: ITV – ATV
Duration: 57×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 4 February 1963 – 12 January 1965 black and white

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TV

Running Wild (ITV 1987, Ray Brooks, Janet Key)

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Sitcom Running Wild was about the ups and downs of separated couple, Max and Babs, trying to get on with their lives. In season two Max wants to return to his wife but Babs is not so keen.

cast
Ray Brooks as Max Wild
Janet Key as Babs Wild
Sharon Duce as Wanda
Michelle Collins as Stephanie Wild
Peter Amory as Rob
Berwick Kaler as Tom Coleman (Season 1)
Brigit Forsyth as Jenny (Season 2)

crew details
Writer: Philip Trewinnard
Producers: Marcus Plantin (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Directors: Vic Finch (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – London Weekend Television
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 6 March 1987 – 4 June 1989

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