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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Rock & Chips: introduction

Rock & Chips: L-R Denzil (Ashley Gerlach), Del (James Buckley), Jumbo Mills (Lee Long), Joan (Kellie Bright), Boycie (Stephen Lloyd) and Trigger (Lewis Osborne)

It's February 1960 in Orchard Street, Peckham, and the glamorous Joan Trotter is off to work at the Ritz Cinema, strutting down the road with her clickety-clack heels and swinging hips, drawing disdainful glances from her jealous neighbours.

Through a leafy country lane, a 1959 Jaguar Mark 9 races towards London with Freddie "The Frog" Robdal at the wheel, Gerald "Jelly" Kelly alongside.

And a young Del Boy sits with his mates Trigger, Boycie, Denzil and Jumbo Mills polishing off their half-pints of beer while Bobby Day's Rockin' Robin plays on the jukebox of the Nag's Head.

Welcome to Rock & Chips, the bittersweet, feature-length comedy-drama from the pen of John Sullivan, starring Nicholas Lyndhurst, Kellie Bright and James Buckley.

Kellie Bright is Joan Trotter. Stuck in a loveless marriage to the workshy Reg (Shaun Dingwall), her only escape is the movies, working as an usherette at the Ritz Cinema and losing herself in the glamour of the black-and-white films on the silver screen.

Here she shares a joke with her friend Reenie and does her best to evade the "hands on" approach to uniform inspections from her manager, Mr Raynor (Robert Daws). Outside, life is hard as she holds down two jobs to feed her family including Reg's dad (Phil Daniels), who has moved in with them.

Then Freddie (Nicholas Lyndhurst) arrives back in town, fresh from a stay at Her Majesty's Pleasure. He soon spots Joan and starts to befriend the family, offering Reg work as a way to ingratiate himself. But he also has big plans which need paying for... despite his best intentions to stay on the straight and narrow!

Meanwhile, Del (James Buckley) is making use of his new friend Denzil's dockyard connections, taking care of "damaged" stock that's arrived from America. LPs, watches, clothes, and even some brand new carpet, Del can sell anything: "I guarantee you, one day I'm gonna be a millionaire," he boldly claims.

This bittersweet love story sheds new light on the lives of South London's most famous family, the Trotters.

Rock & Chips is written by John Sullivan, directed by Dewi Humphreys and produced by Gareth Gwenlan. The executive producers are John Sullivan (Shazam Productions) and Mark Freeland (BBC). It will transmit on BBC One on Sunday 24 January 2010, 9.00-10.30pm.


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