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Stay Lucky (ITV 1989-1993, Dennis Waterman, Jan Francis)

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Drama series Stay Lucky began when cockney chancer Thomas Gynn finds himself in trouble with the London Underworld. He heads north where he falls in with businesswoman Sally Hardcastle who runs her own narrowboat charter company in Yorkshire.

By the fourth and final season things had changed. Thomas was fresh out of prison and Sally moved on after the first epiode. The rest of the ten episode run saw Thomas involved with various women as he tried to find his feet again. Firstly Gynn ended up working for and having a fling with Samantha Mansfield who was in charge of the Yorkshire Industrial Museum. Then Gynn found himself in Eastern Europe where he had an affair with a lady called Isabel (played by Rula Lenska, star Dennis Waterman’s real life wife at the time.) Finally Gynn hooked up with dancer Jo. This season he was also mostly working with his ex-cellmate Franklyn Bysouth – now involved in various, usually dodgy, business schemes.

A mostly solid star vehicle for a post Minder Waterman and another chance for him to sing the theme tune. The first season was just a short three part serial.

Waterman reveals in his autobiography that Susan George who plays Samantha was intended to stay for the whole fourth season but it was felt the dynamic wasn’t working and she was written out, this in turn meant the rest of the season had to be rejigged somewhat.

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production details
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 27×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 8 December 1989 – 6 August 1993

Creator: Geoff McQueen / Theme Music: Dennis Waterman, Miriam Stockley (Theme music for the first season was by Ray Russell) / Executive Producers: Vernon Lawrence (season 1), David Reynolds (seasons 2-4) / Producers: David Reynolds (season 1), Andrew Benson (seasons 2-3), Matthew Bird (season 4)

cast
DENNIS WATERMAN as Thomas Gynn
JAN FRANCIS as Sally Hardcastle
EMMA WRAY as Pippa
NIALL TOBIN as Lively
CHRIS JURY as Kevin (season one)
IAN McNEICE as Franklyn Bysouth (season four)
SUSAN GEORGE as Samantha (season four)
LESLIE ASH as Jo (season four)
RULA LENSKA as Isabel Stevens (season four)

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 8 – 22 December 1989
The three parter went under the overall title of Northern Lights but individual episodes were.
1. A1 RAIN DANCER (8 Dec 89)
2. THE HOWLING (15 Dec 89)
3. FOOL’S GOLD (22 Dec 89)

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SEASON TWO 29 September – 10 November 1990
1. BURNING YOUR BOATS (29 Sep 90)
2. BRING BACK MY BARNY TO ME (6 Oct 90)
3. A WOMAN’S LOT (13 Oct 90)
4. THE DEVIL WEPT IN LEEDS (20 Oct 90)
5. TRIAL BY MARRIAGE (27 Oct 90)
6. HOTROD HORACE (3 Nov 90)
7. BIGAMY BLUES (10 Nov 90)

SEASON THREE 12 October – 23 November 1991
1. POETIC JUSTICE (12 Oct 91)
2. THE FOOD OF LOVE (19 Oct 91)
3. HARD TIMES, HARD MEN (26 Oct 91)
4. AN UNSAVOURY BUSINESS ( 2 Nov 91)
5. THE SISTERS OF ACHILL (9 Nov 91)
6. A ROMAN EMPIRE (16 Nov 91)
7. SHINGLE BEACH (23 Nov 91)

SEASON FOUR 4 June – 6 August 1993
1. FLAMEPROOF AND FREE (4 Jun 93)
2. THE DRIVING INSTRUCTOR (11 Jun 93)
3. A QUICK KILLING (18 Jun 93)
4. DOWN TO EARTH (25 Jun 93)
5. THE LONG ROAD… THERE (2 Jul 93)
6. THE LONG ROAD… BACK (9 Jul 93)
7. GILDING THE LILY (16 Jul 93)
8. BLOWING BUBBLES (23 Jul 93)
9. SAND DANCER (30 Jul 93)
10. ONE JUMP AHEAD (6 Aug 93)

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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.

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