1 9 8 0 (UK)
6 x 50 minute episodes
When showman Arnie Cole (Bob Hoskins) first meets well-to-do spinster Maud (Frances de la Tour), she seems a total snob. But she is devastated to find herself pregnant and the father wanting nothing more to do with her.
Arnie agrees to marry her in exchange for her sponsoring him in his desire to give up his travelling bioscope theatre and enter the “Flicker” business (the British movie industry of the early 20th century) – first as an exhibitor, then as a filmmaker.
Arnie’s sidekick and jack of all trades is Llewellyn (Fraser Cains)
Supporting characters include the hapless Letty (Sherrie Hewson); Maud’s brother, Clive (Frances’ real-life brother, Andy de la Tour); music hall comic Corky Brown (Dickie Arnold) and his man-hungry wife, Cora (Valerie Holliman); Corky’s manager, Max Legendre (Granville Saxton); Percy (Jim Hooper); Lily (Sheila Reid); Jack (Philip Madoc); Max Legendre (Granville Saxton); Violet (Sheri Shepstone); Nanny (Peggy Ann Wood); Eddy Marco (Teddy Turner); would-be starlet Clara Brewer (Joanna Foster), and the imperious Gwendoline Harper (Maxine Audley).
The writing of the ATV serial by Roy Clarke (writer of Last Of The Summer Wine) is superb and the performances by Bob Hoskins and Frances de la Tour are absolutely wonderful. Music for the series is by Ron Grainer.
Frances de la Tour
Peggy Ann Wood
Andy de la Tour