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Boys from the Blackstuff

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 28 August 2011

In this edition of The Reunion, Sue MacGregor reunites Julie Walters, Alan Bleasdale, Tom Georgeson, Michael Angelis and producer Michael Wearing to talk about their roles in the landmark 1980s drama series Boys from the Blackstuff.

Writer Alan Bleasdale's hard-hitting drama series was set against the harsh backdrop of struggle and bleak unemployment in the Liverpool of Thatcher's Britain. It chronicled the lives of a group of men as they sought to find work, whilst suffering the despair and indignity of life on the scrapheap. First transmitted in October 1982, it received widespread critical acclaim and became a 'television event'.

Boys from the Blackstuff had an immediate and startling impact, thanks to the sheer heartfelt emotional power of Bleasdale's uncompromising writing and an extraordinarily gifted ensemble cast. It painted an uncomfortable, but warranted portrait of a city and a country teetering precariously on the brink of social and economic disaster, where the only real victims were those who were prevented by circumstances from leading fulfilling and productive lives.

The original team join Sue MacGregor to talk about their experiences of the making of the series and its widespread resonance across the nation.

Producer: Christina Captieux
Series Producer: David Prest
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 4.

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