1 9 6 8 – 1 9 6 9 (UK)
39 x 50 minute episodes
Debuting on BBC1 at 8:15 pm on Sunday 7 April 1968, The First Lady starred Thora Hird as Sarah Danby – a righter of wrongs and the newly elected independent member of Furness Borough Council.
Lancastrian Sarah represented Albion Ward, a seat previously held by her late husband, a much respected Yorkshireman, Alderman Thomas Danby.
Faced almost daily with problems of overcrowding, she finds the large Danby house – Victorian with slight Gothic overtones – is a place for reflection.
Of Sarah’s two children only Tom (Henry Knowles), her son, now lives at home. Her daughter – married with a young bay – lives with her husband in nearby Sheffield.
Tom is a junior history master at Furness Grammar School – which is scheduled to become a Comprehensive. Now his mother is a Council member he finds many of his creature comforts suffering – though he would never admit to being a “mother’s boy”.
Will Tarrant (Bob Keegan) is Deputy Leader of the Labour group of the Council. A small electrical contractor, his wife left him some years ago and his two daughters – aged 19 and 22 – are both working in London. The crisis in his personal life has spurred him into the public arena and his apparent hardness hides a basic humanity and integrity.
Alderman George Kingston (James Grout) is Leader of the Conservative opposition. One of the best-known builders in the region, the sign “George Kingston (Furness) Ltd” is to be seen on many major building projects. His modern, well-designed house is pleasantly situated on one of the hills surrounding Furness where he lives comfortably with his wife, Margaret (Margaret John).