1 9 9 5 – 1 9 9 6 (UK)
18 x 50 minute episodes
Set in Bradford, Band of Gold introduced viewers to the miserable world of life ‘on the game’.
It featured four women who had taken up prostitution for differing reasons and wrapped their stories around the hunt for the murderer of young mother Gina Dixon, who had turned to the game to pay off a loan shark.
Carol (Cathy Tyson) was the matter-of-fact, hygiene-obsessed one, happy to be shocking the neighbours; Rose (Geraldine James) was the experienced matriarchal figure who continually failed to start a new life; Anita (Barbara Dickson) was selfish and scheming, and misguided teenage blonde Tracy (Samantha Morton) was a drug abuser.
George Ferguson (Tony Doyle) was Anita’s married boyfriend and the villain who made the girls’ life even more difficult.
By the end of the original six-part series, the foursome had decided to leave the grime of “the lane” and set up their own cleaning cooperative, Scrubitt International.
When the series returned for another six episodes a year later, the girls found it difficult to shake off their past on the lane. A new arrival, a sadomasochism specialist named Colette (Lena Headey), joined the throng and more murders ensued, underlining again the programme’s core message, that prostitution is not a glamorous industry (although, contrarily, Bradford police claimed that the series had been responsible for an upsurge in activity in the city’s red-light area).
A third series, of three two-part stories, arrived in 1997. Re-titled Gold, this time only Rose and Carol remained of the original four girls. Rose now had a job as a community liaison officer, working with the police to clean up the streets.
Band Of Gold‘s theme song, a version of Love Hurts, was performed by star Barbara Dickson.
Philip Martin Brown