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Beautiful People (BBC-2 2008-2009 with Olivia Colman and Meera Syal)

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UK / BBC Two (BBC Productions) / 12×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 2 October 2008 – 18 December 2009

Writer: Jonathan Harvey / Theme Music: Dan Gillespie Sells, Ian Masterson / Costumes: Annie Hardinge / Production Design: Dennis De Groot / Producer: Justin Davies / Executive Producer: Jon Plowman

Perfectly suited to the brilliant Jonathan Harvey, this sitcom, based on the memoirs and childhood life of Simon Doonan (the creative director of Barneys in New York), follows young teenage Simon, who is quite simply desperate to escape his mid 1990’s Reading home town and become a window dresser in a major American department store.

Really though, one suspects the Beautiful People of the title are not the glamorous types that Simon is so keen to mix with but his amazing family and their friends, from Mum Debbie, plumbing, wine making Dad Andy, his bling Aunt Haley and his best friend Kyle.

Harvey has a fine ear for the absurd and surreal and also isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Each, funny, episode begins in New York with the twenty something Simon thinking back to some incident of his earlier years. Most episode titles begin How I Got My…

Guest stars were pretty high profiles and included the likes of Brenda Fricker, Frances Barber and a sountrack album of cover versions (including a duet between Kylie and Danni Minogue) featured in the series was also released.

cast
LUKE WARD-WILKINSON as Simon Doonan(aged 13)
OLIVIA COLMAN as Debbie Doonan
MEERA SYAL as Aunty Hayley
AIDAN McARDLE as Andy Doonan
LAYTON WILLIAMS as Kyle
SAMUEL BARNETT as Adult Simon
SOPHIE ASH as Ashlene Doonan
SARAH NILES as Reba
GARY AMERS as Sacha

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE2 October – 6 November 2008
1. HOW I GOT MY VASE
2. HOW I GOT MY NOSE
3. HOW I GOT MY BEADS
4. HOW I GOT MY POSH
5. HOW I GOT MY TONGS
6. HOW I GOT MY GLOBE

SEASON TWO13 November – 18 December 2009
1. HOW I GOT MY GROOM
2. HOW I GOT MY PLUMES
3. HOW I GOT MY WATER FEATURE
4. HOW I GOT MY CAMP
5. HOW I GOT MY TURNER
6. HOW I GOT MY GASH

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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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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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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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