Home Television Drama First Lady, The

First Lady, The

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).

Sarah Danby
Thora Hird
Tom Danby
Henry Knowles
Will Tarrant
Bob Keegan
George Kingston
James Grout
Margaret Kingston
Margaret John
Alderman Bowland
Donald Layne-Smith