Boys from the Blackstuff

Work in Liverpool was scarce during the early Eighties. In this bleak and pessimistic setting, Alan Bleasdale created his iconic, darkly humorous five-part drama, spun out of his earlier play The Black Stuff (BBC2, 02/01/1980; not a Play for Today as is often stated). The "black stuff" in question is asphalt, as used by the main characters to tarmac roads, and each episode centres on a different character: Yosser Hughes (Bernard Hill), Chrissie Todd (Michael Angelis), Dixie Dean (Tom Georgeson), Loggo Lomond (Alan Igbon) and George Malone (Peter Kerrigan). Julie Walters, Ricky Tomlinson and Bread-stars-to-be Jean Boht and Gilly Coman also featured in the series, directed by Philip Savile. Initially shown on BBC2 from 10/10/82 – 7/11/1982, it was repeated on BBC1 in January 1983 and went on to win that year's Best Drama BAFTA Award.