1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 1 (UK)
1 x pilot
19 x 30 minute episodes
Mirroring its time, the subject of Girls About Town was the emancipation of women.
It wasn’t a strident voice for Women’s Lib, and the media obsession of the period – bra-burning – did not feature; all the same, the storylines did depict two female friends in their early thirties, tired of slaving over their kitchen sinks in Acacia Avenue and keen to strike a blow for their sex.
If, at the same time, this attracted the attention of their lesser halves, so much the better.
Denise Coffey and Julie Stevens starred as the bored housewives, Brenda and Julie. Brenda was daft and knew it, while Rosemary was daft and did not, and the duo came across almost as female versions of Laurel and Hardy.
The writer, Adele Rose was a prolific writer on Coronation Street, penning around 500 scripts between 1961 and 1998, and there was something of a Corrie connection to the series: The 1969 pilot episode had starred Anna Quayle and Barbara Mullaney who (under the name Barbara Knox) went on to star in the soap as Rita Littlewood (later Fairclough).
Peter Baldwin (Corrie character Derek Wilton – wimpy husband of dithering Mavis) starred in both the pilot and the series as Harold Liversedge, one of the beleaguered husbands. Helen Worth (Gail Tilsley) appeared in the second episode.
A cast change was made for the two female leads between the 1969 pilot and the 1970 series with two stalwarts of children’s television taking the spotlight at adult prime time – Denise Coffey (Brenda) had starred in Do Not Adjust Your Set while Julie Stevens (Rosemary) had been performing for even younger audiences in Play School.
Three series’ were made between 1970 and 1971 and all but the pilot were in colour.
Sylvia Liversedge (Pilot)
Rosemary Pilgrim (Pilot)