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Stanley Park writer introduces the Carrie Bradshaw of Croydon

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Dana Stevens | 16:48 UK time, Tuesday, 1 June 2010

We've got a special treat for you this week. We've got a double bill of our brand new drama pilots for you to watch first, right here on the blog. As part of our drama pilot season, you'll get a seven day head start with the opportunity to preview both dramas online before they're even on TV.

Dappers stars Being Human's Lenora Crichlow and Ty Glaser as a pair of sparky chancers who are best friends and single mums struggling to bring up their toddlers in Bristol.

Stanley Park (Holliday Grainger as Dirty Debbie) (Photo shows Holliday Grainger as Dirty Debbie in Stanley Park.)

The second of our pilots is Stanley Park which was originally written as a stage play. I asked the young creator Leo Richardson to tell us about writing the show and how it felt to adapt it for TV...

Welcome to Stanley Park... It's where I grew up, and before anyone from home slaps me round the face - the characters are mainly fictional. Stanley Park and the adjoining Stanley Place is based just outside of Croydon and was inspired by my play 'Sh*t-Mix', which was on stage in the West End just under two years ago. I'm so thrilled to have the chance to get this put onto the screen. When the run of the play was over, I was kinda sad. I felt like the characters were friends I wouldn't see again. Also, and I know it's odd (but I am), I'd always hear the characters voices in my head. Sometimes I'd even be out shopping, for example, and look in a window and say, Dirty Debbie would love that. So I decided, off my own back, to write a six part series, totally unaware if it would ever be made.

Stanley Park's all about young people really - and all the sh*t you go through. That was part of the double meaning to the play 'Sh*t-Mix'. I wanted to do something the total opposite of Skins. That's had its success and did immensely well, but for me, the kids were far too cool. I never knew anyone that cool. No one I ever knew at that age started a riot or smashed up a pub. We just got drunk and made fools of ourselves. I spent so many Sunday mornings, waking up aghast at what I may or may not have done. I still do sometimes. The kids in Stanley Park are far from cool. They're immensely human and vulnerable and fallible. And they live in a world full of consequence and it's so important for young people to see that.

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My aim with Stanley Park was to create something both funny, and dramatic. Just like life. When you love someone enough to laugh at them, you're there with them when they're down. Take one of the characters Dirty Debbie. She's utterly ridiculous. She's so very deluded, and the stuff she comes out with is hilarious. Thinking she's the Carrie Bradshaw of Croydon? I mean, come on. But it's where this comes from that interests me. Debbie's actually so, so vulnerable. She lost her mum three years ago; she's had three step dads and her Auntie Pat has clearly got a drink problem, as well as being in denial about her own loneliness. Like so many young people today, Debbie's had a tough time, so she's created this image. When you blow the lid off of her facade, that's when the drama is created.

I'll wrap up by saying we have such a talented director and cast and crew. When I first saw the show all the way through it blew me away. I was so proud, I actually cried. You can write a good script and it can come out dire. But when you get those extra layers of talent, as well as amazing producers - you realize how it all comes together. I'm so, so proud of everyone that's been involved in this show, and knowing how in love with the show everyone was, made it such a special experience.

Stanley Park (Joe Cole as Lee Stevens) When I sat in my bedroom in Carshalton and wrote this script every night after working all day on a building site with my dad and brother (if I didn't have an acting job that was!), I never expected it to be made. I just wanted to tell my story. All I can say is, I poured my heart and soul into this series, so I hope it sees the light of day and I hope you enjoy our pilot as much as we all enjoyed making it for you. I promise if you like pilot, we have even better stuff in store. These characters go on a real journey.

(Photo shows Joe Cole as Lee Stephens in Stanley Park.)

And please, if you like it, tell us why - it means a lot to us.

Leo Richardson is the writer of Stanley Park.

You can watch Stanley Park and Dappers here on the blog from Thursday.
Both programmes will also be screened on BBC Three on Thursday 10th June from 9pm.

You can watch the first of our drama pilots, Pulse, on this blog now and on TV on Thursday 3rd June at 9pm.

Add your comment.


  • Comment number 1.

    I cannot wait for this pilot! when will the pilot be online today?

  • Comment number 2.

    yeah, we liked it!! really want to know what happens next... it was unfortunate that they all live so close to each other, what with stuff getting so messy at the end.. poor lee. nice ass though. accents were a little bit sketchy, but everyone was fit.. overall, we would love for this thing to continue xkissx

  • Comment number 3.

    I watched Stanley Park today and I have to say it was brilliant. The mix of comedy and drama was just right and I can definalty see it doing well on bbc3. There are a couple of things that could be changed to make it more realistic for example Auntie Pat something just told me that the chartaer was not quite right maybe she looked to "prim and proper" however I think I could warm to her. A great mix of charters and with the charater being more like a family you never got lost in the plot line. I can see great potetial with Stanley Park and hope to see more of it on bbc3

  • Comment number 4.

    I did not much like Stanley Park. Similar format as Skins, inbetweeners. Group of young people with dire issues. It has been done so many times before. It does not stand out as different from the rest. I would not choose to watch it if this was further developed. It did not grab my attention. The writer did say he wanted this to be different from Skins but this subject of troubled teens has been repeated over and over on TV. Its not filling a gap in the tv market.

    Dappers was ok, but again there have been similar TV shows in the past.

    I loved PULSE. I think this feels a gap in the market as their are no good British horror TV series around at the moment. It is very different from anything else on tv. I would definitley watch this in the future.

  • Comment number 5.

    I totally disagree with the person above - yeh there's been shows for teens b4 but if u said this all the time then there would never be any new shows for young ppl to stay in and watch! and then adults would complain that young ppl were out causing trouble.
    If teens weren't so troubled ppl wouldn't keep writing about them but they are and it's important to always be talking about that. I lost a close relative a few years ago and when i read this after seeing stanley park i could understand why dirty debbie pretends to be so confidnt, and that's whats so good about this show. also there was abit when you saw that bent ben said about his dad and i think a lot of young ppl will relate to that.
    i looked at this after watching stanley park to find out more and im glad i did bcos its good to know what makes ppl write things and i think the writer of stanley park must undrstand or have been thru some of these things to write about them. I hope we see more of this show because skins isn't as good as it was anyway, and we don't have any shows for young people that are funny and meaningful.
    thank u for listening

  • Comment number 6.

    Ps i'm gonna watch it again!!

  • Comment number 7.

    would defiantly like to see more of Stanley park, characters were believable and I liked the storyline. Could definatly see myself watching a series of this

  • Comment number 8.

    I loved it, I really hope it gets made into a series I would love to see more of the characters, it so nice and fresh to see something different to the usual teen format and I think its wrong to keep comparing it or other shows to skins, because skins is a major exaggeration of teenage life and can be over patronising which Stanley Park isn't so good on the writer for his first try on tv it was fab.

  • Comment number 9.

    great show, really hope to see more episodes. excellent characters and genuinely funny.

  • Comment number 10.

    agreed with the blogger above - for a first time writer this is amazing. I would be very interested to see more of his work (?) and wish i'd seen the stage version of this. Skins, agreed, is more of a fantastical approach - and i think unrealistic. This felt the opposite. In a way the perfect fit for a BBC rival to it, because it's responsible yet believable. And Leo is right, i never knew anyone as cool as the 'skins kids'!
    I think people will inevitably compare it, but this is more likely to be those who want to right it off and don't like these shows. It's for a very commercial audience. This has more subtlety and a unique voice. (i'm watching it for the third time on air tonight with my family so i'm hooked) Really good work. I hope the BBC listens to people as it seems to be a real favorite.

  • Comment number 11.

    PS Inbetweeners comparison above is a shallow view. Inbetweeners is a (rather great), but surface level comedy. Stanley Park is a comedy/drama and a different kettle of fish.

  • Comment number 12.

    BRILLIANT!! Really enjoyed the first episode, fair play.. Oh and am totally IN LOVE WITH Jennie Jacques. Gorgeous. Jennie, if you're out there! Call me!! =0) x

  • Comment number 13.

    Just watched the pilot for Stanley green! hope to see more, dirty Debbie was great!

  • Comment number 14.

    Well.............. it was ok and very, very well acted. But like, ok, er, it ain't like goin' nowhere, know wot I mean, like?
    Shame, great potential.
    ps, continuity announcer barely understandable, crap.

  • Comment number 15.

    Silly, pointless rubbish, shallow storylines and a bad gay character, it also seemed like everyone in it wore really bad wigs! jokes and references to Lambrini were also totally pointless. All in all one of the most awful programs i have ever watched.

  • Comment number 16.

    Thoroughly enjoyed 'Stanley park', I have been left wanting more, I can't wait!

  • Comment number 17.

    Really enjoyed Stanlay Park. Cant wait to see more. Bravo!!!

  • Comment number 18.


  • Comment number 19.

    the stanley park was good tv show, i would watch more of it, i

  • Comment number 20.

    My husband and I are both in our 60s and we rolled about laughing at Stanley Park. Perhaps partly because we have both taught teenagers and because we have teenage grandchildren. Oh how VERY glad we are not to be that age any more! We love it. More please....don't just stop at a pilot.

  • Comment number 21.

    I am really looking forward to the next episode of Stanley Park. Witty and very well written.

  • Comment number 22.

    I would not normally watch this kind of programme and so kinda started watching by accident. However, I was soon caught up in the plot. Somehow, the writer had perfectly captured the mood of "northern front meets southern ass". Being from the same area myself and also living in south London, it was so real to life and the underlying humour was magnificent. I'll definitely watch the rest.

    Dappers, I didn't like. Glorifying benefit thieves did not turn me on.

  • Comment number 23.

    I thought this show was really quite brilliant and I really think it's a bit unimaginative to compare it to 'Skins'.
    A - it's genuinely laugh-out-loud funny but, B - There's a subtle darkness to it that takes it beyond Teen Yawnsville.
    Exciting script, great cast, well made show. I want more, please.

  • Comment number 24.

    Dear Mr BBC, I haven't finished the Pilot yet, but it is so good I had to tell you it would be a crime for this not to become a series, that is all.

  • Comment number 25.

    oh my god loved stanle park please say ur doiing a series soon

  • Comment number 26.

    Stanley Park was genuinely great. For the BBC to let this slip through the net would be a travesty. I really can't wait for the next episode. Really laugh out loud funny combined with a sexyness that puts an excitement and edge to all the action. Top stuff. MORE PLEASE!

  • Comment number 27.

    Loved Stanley Park, brilliant story and well written. Can't wait to see the complete series!

  • Comment number 28.

    So, I noticed a programme called Stanley Park on the BBC iPlayer home page and paused for a second. Surely... No one would set something in the Stanley Park I know? The part of Carshalton with the Secondary School that everyone in the area hopes they won’t end up attending because they didn’t get into their first choice (at least that was the case when I was entering Secondary education, but that was 10 years ago now). Everything around here seems so nondescript and bland that I was convinced it would be a different place. So I started watching, just to find out. Apparently I was wrong, because it is the same Stanley Park. And apparently I was wrong twice, because not only is it set around here, but it's actually good. That was a nice surprise. The characters felt real enough without being boring and there were some genuinely laugh out loud moments with some quality acting all round. It's refreshing to see a portrayal of younger people that feels more honest and relatable whilst remaining engaging and different. I'm definitely intrigued to find out more, would be a shame if the BBC decides not to continue with it.

  • Comment number 29.

    I absolutely LOVED Stanley Park!! Really well written with some excellent one liners!!!! Cant wait for the series! Well done!

  • Comment number 30.

    I really enjoyed stanley park, it was well acted and well written-Being from Croydon myself it was actually refreshing to see the burbs in Cro discussed as opposed to the typical West Cro (which is where i am from).

    I will definitely be watching the entire series as I'd like to see how it pans out.

    I've watched skins and the inbetweeners and didnt enjoy those shows because they never grabbed me. Stanley Park has grabbed me, Kudos Leo!

  • Comment number 31.

    I reallly loved Stanley Park ... at first I thought it was goin to be awful .. just because.. but it was good! Well Done! :) Its definately filled the void left from 'Skins' and 'Misfits' for me, loved it. [two thumbs up!]
    p.s please bring it back !

  • Comment number 32.

    I absolutely loooved Stanley Park! We were laughing all the way through - it's hilarious! Especially loved the parody aspects like glam Carrie & her unrealistic NY life vs. Croydon Debbie as the real deal in british version :o)) It's sooo spot on! I hope we will see more of it soon. Well done!

  • Comment number 33.

    I watched Stanley Park last night and really loved what i saw. I appreciate a lot of sitcoms and i found that creating a new sitcom (especially with the sort of competition that is on television today) and have people catch on is very difficult nowerdays. But Stanley Park has the potential to be another BBC classic! The storyline is strong and you could see the chemistry between the actors. DISCONTINUING STANLEY PARK WILL BE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF YOUR LIVES!!

  • Comment number 34.

    loved it i liked raggidy ann:D

  • Comment number 35.

    I loved this programme totally different to anything else out there at the moment!! It really made me laugh I hope there is more to come and very soon. Well done!!

  • Comment number 36.

    I loved Stanley Park!! Growing up in Croydon, watching this brings it all back to me in a humorous way! I have watched skins but I could never relate to it so never bothered to watch it after watching an episode, but this was brilliant!! I hope it turns into a series so I can laugh some more!

  • Comment number 37.

    This was my favourite out of the three pilots. I thought some of the lines in it were wickedly clever, and it was certainly a lot better than the pilot of Skins. My nitpicks would be all the lambrini/pizza express jokes. Like we're being invited to laugh BECAUSE they aren't middle class - kind of condescending snobbery. And Debbie is in no way written like an actual teenage girl, she's a male writer's IDEA of a teenage nympho. Kind of creepy really. And sometimes the dialogue was a bit too 'quippy'. Just relax with it, every line doesn't need to be a joke. But some likeable and interesting characters.

  • Comment number 38.

    Absolutely loved Stanley Park, great script, brilliant characters and it was actually believable, some hilarious one liners as well. Hope this is just a taste of things to come, can't wait to see what happens next... come on BBC don't leave us in suspense I want to hear the next chapter of Dirty Debbie's The Spaniard Barman!!

  • Comment number 39.

    I watched Dappers and Stanley Park and both were really good but I think Stanley Park's got more depth and scope. It's got a slightly clearer target audience, too. If one is picked, pick Stanley. If both are picked, even better!

  • Comment number 40.

    I loved it! Music is good, accent and timing is funny and the storyline is very interesting. The cliffhanger very effective: what's going to happen next? I want to see more!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    I thought it was good but the only problem is i remember going to the Trafalgar Studio a while back and watching a play about "teenage drama" and the one thing that reminded me of it and made it all come back was the name "raggidy ann" (apologies for my spelling)

    did anyone else go and see that?

    if so post a comment

  • Comment number 42.

    STANLEY PARK was brilliant and couldn't have been better cast. Congratulations on producing another corker. I am only disappointed that there isn't another episode to look forward to next week! Such potential here. Please follow through. We want more STANLEY PARK!

  • Comment number 43.

    Great show, really hope to get the rest of the series on air asap. Big bro and world cup leaves very little room for any decent TV so this would make my summer way more enjoyable!

  • Comment number 44.

    I'm hooked! I love it and I cannot wait for more. Great characters. Fresh and funny. BBC 3 always has more interesting programmes...something a bit different-I love this and am now officially a fan!

  • Comment number 45.

    omg actually just amazing. way better than skins, inbetweeners and any other show about teenagers. BBC 3 have proved again that they are the channel to watch. please please please carry this programme on!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    Really enjoyed Stanley Park, can't wait to see how the characters develop.

  • Comment number 47.

    loved it .. if this doesn't get a series i'm going to burn my tv license..saw sh*t-m*x at trafalgar and loved that too... leo's a proper talent.. sign him up!

  • Comment number 48.

    Liked the pilot of Stanley Park, hope it makes it to the screen as a series

  • Comment number 49.

    Great pilot episode, I really hope this is made into a series. After seeing Sh*t-Mix on the stage I know there is a lot more to the characters that needs to be shown on TV. Well done Leo Richardson!!

  • Comment number 50.

    this was great!!

  • Comment number 51.

    Absolutly loved it!! cant wait to watch the next episode!!!!
    So funny loved the main charector!!

  • Comment number 52.


  • Comment number 53.

    Just watched it and joined BBC three for the first time just so I could comment and say how much I enjoyed it. Would really like to see the series continue!

  • Comment number 54.

    OMG it was live i loved it i was funny
    and really entertaining!!!!

  • Comment number 55.

    Congrats to Leo and the whole team on Stanley Park. This was slick and entertaining. I could find no fault - nothing but good things. It's difficult to imagine where it can go from here - so much was packed into the pilot! I shall definitely follow it to see the development of the characters and plot. Kudos to the acting cast - strong performances all round. Leo - I trust the tears were not only joy - but pride as well! Good job, young man.

  • Comment number 56.

    I happened to just be flicking through the channels when i saw this on and i have to say i really enjoyed it. It was very well written and the characters were brilliant. I really hope the BBC continue with this and make a series.

  • Comment number 57.

    I watched Stanley Park when I found this online and really, really enjoyed it- the following week I was expecting to watch the next one but then found out it was just a pilot!

    I hope the show carries on as the drama was quite raw. The writing was modern and fresh, with a faultless cast of actors- all individual and entertaining- each character is interesting and the different relationships between each aswell.

    From reading the writers' comments on Stanley Park I completely agree, especially about the skins part- skins was not the best representation of the young people in Britain and the issues and how they were covered were not done to the best that they could of been- however with Stanley Park I enjoyed all the different characters and although some were a little bit extreme they were all entertaining.

    Plus I want to see how the story carries on!!!

  • Comment number 58.

    watched Stanley Park yesterday and loved it, a great new drama with great humour throughout, a strong cast also and the performance of Holliday Grainger was a definate highlight... more of this please

  • Comment number 59.

    Dear The BBC

    Absolutely loved Stanley Park, it was well paced, funny and touching, and that was just the first episode where you are being introduced to all the characters. The next episodes (if you make the right decision) will be amazing. I really hope we get to see more of Aunty Pat, I think that she will be a fantastic character.

    Give us some more good telly and give Stanley Park a full series.

  • Comment number 60.

    I loved Stanley park so much! funniest thing i've seen on telly for ages.
    I would love for it to be commisioned as a series, it is nothing less than the fantastic writing and acting in it deserves.

  • Comment number 61.

    Was pleasantly surprised by how good the Pulse pilot was.

    A full series would be great.

  • Comment number 62.

    Brilliant - really sparky writing, great realistic yet hilarious (I even laughed out loud!) characters, with a lovely dark undercurrent. The cast are uniformly excellent, and I can't wait to see how their stories develop - please please please make more! It's so rare to find a programme about young people that is not patronising, unrealistic or worthy......Stanley Park could be a massive hit - I want to see more.

  • Comment number 63.


  • Comment number 64.

    I loved stanley park.... when does the decision get made on if it will be made reality?
    It was a great pilot episode

  • Comment number 65.

    I watched Stanley Park last night and really loved what i saw. I appreciate a lot of sitcoms and i found that creating a new sitcom (especially with the sort of competition that is on television today) and have people catch on is very difficult nowerdays.. But Stanley Park has the potential to be another BBC classic! The storyline is strong and you could see the chemistry between the actors. DISCONTINUING STANLEY PARK WILL BE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF YOUR LIVES!!

  • Comment number 66.

    STANLEY PARK was brilliant and couldn't have been better cast. Congratulations on producing another corker. I am only disappointed that there isn't another episode to look forward to next week! Such potential here. Please follow through. We want more STANLEY PARK!


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