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Dream Stuffing

1 9 8 4 (UK)
10 x 25 minute episodes

This Channel 4 sitcom featured Mo (Amanda Symonds) and Jude (Rachel Weaver), two young women who shared a council flat in a tower block in London’s East End with their three-legged cat, Tripod.

It was intended to be an up-to-date and relevant comedy about the way young girls live in modern high-rise London and, in development, must have seemed like it ticked all the boxes . . .

Trendiness quotient: one girl to be a punk (Jude), the other to be of mixed race (Mo). Social conscience: one is long-term unemployed (Jude), the other to be made redundant in the first episode (Mo). Sub-plot: a thriving chunk of the black economy in the next-door flat. Relevance: the flats are on the 17th floor of a council high-rise and the lifts have real graffiti. Conflict: the suspicious DHSS snoopers threaten to cut off the social security payments. Role reversal: The DHSS snooper is black. Humour: Oh well, we can always rely on canned laughter.

To be a perfect Channel 4 self-parody, there should have been a hint of homosexuality in there somewhere – but the mix was quite crowded enough.

The catalogue of predictable absurdities – from the cat being fed on Indian takeaways to one girl being made redundant from a glass-eye factory – suggested that someone in the initial script conference had a sense of humour.

It was a  nice touch to have the neighbours setting up a metal-bashing workshop in a 17th-floor flat and pinching council electricity from the lift shaft.

Kirsty MacColl sang the theme tune.

Jude
Rachel Weaver
Mo
Mandi Symonds
Richard
Ray Burdis
May
Maria Charles
Bill
Frank Lee
Brenda
Caroline Quentin
Mrs Tudge
Helen Brammer

Episodes

There’s Always Hope | On Strike | Washeteria Property | The Employment Review Officer | The Chance Of A Lifetime | The Girls In Charge | Romance In The Air? | May’s Financial Straits | Motherhood | Job Share