Very British Coup, A (Channel 4 1988, Ray McAnally, Jim Carter)

Superb three part drama A Very British Coup saw working class left wing labour leader Harry Perkins elected Prime Minister and very quickly coming under pressure from a definitely shadowy right.

Based on the novel Chris Mullin (a Labour MP) and adapted by Alan Plater, the serial shares much of ideology and mood with the likes of Edge of Darkness and the movie Defence of the Realm and even documentary series The Secret State. Computer surveillance was really starting to come into its own during the mid 1980’s and the general public were first starting to become aware of it.

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Towering above it all is yet another stand out performance from the brilliant Ray McAnally, who won a BAFTA, there is also a strong performance from Keith Allen as press secretary to Harry.

production details
UK / Channel 4 – Skreba / 3×65 minute episodes / Broadcast 19 June – 3 July 1989

Writer: Alan Plater / Novel: Chris Mullin / Music: John Keane / Producers: Ann Skinner, Sally Hibbin / Director: Mick Jackson

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Ray McAnally as Harry Perkins
Alan MacNaughtan as Sir Percy Browne
Keith Allen as Fred Thompson
Jim Carter as Newsome
Geoffrey Beevers as Wainwright
Philip Madoc as Fison
Tim McInnerny as Fiennes
Marjorie Yates as Joan Cook
Christine Kavanagh as Liz)
Oliver Ford-Davies as Tweed
David McKail as Robertson
Erin Donovan as Chambers
Shane Rimmer as Morgan
Kika Markham as Helen
Clive Merrison as Interviewer
Oscar Quitak as Kowalsky

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.