1 9 8 0 – 1 9 8 1 (UK)
53 x 30 minute episodes
Southern Television’s Together debuted on 24 January 1980 with no small amount of fanfare for a daytime show from one of the smaller franchises.
Created by Coronation Street scriptwriting mainstay Adele Rose (who would go on to also create Byker Grove), the series was based in Rutherford Court, a new low-rise block of housing association flats in an overspill suburb.
Together was originally filmed three days before transmission, enabling topical references to Geoffrey Howe’s budget and Chris Bonnington’s Everest expedition to be subtly inserted into the dialogue, Drop the Dead Donkey style.
For the second series in 1981, the show was broadcast live. Scenes had to be carefully coordinated (with occasional pre-recorded elements inserted) and fingers crossed.
Storyline controversy was introduced with the introduction of openly gay tenant Peter Hunt (Stephen Churchett, later the Mitchell brothers’ solicitor in EastEnders).
Phrases like “nancy boy” and “bent as a three-quid note” were hurled around Rutherford Court’s communal areas, while Southern readied the afternoon audience with some mollifying words; “Gays are now part of everyday life”, said a spokesman, “but we are ready for a few furious phone calls”.
Together was eventually doomed to die off along with its parent company as franchise upheavals replaced Southern with TVS.