More to life than teenage magazines and Sweet Dreams?
Amanda is 13 and lives her life like one of the teenage magazines she reads. Her private imaginary agony aunt gives her sound advice about leaving homework to others, that her role in life is to love, be loved and have lots of babies… S.W.A.LK. starts on April 18th, 9.30-10.00pm on Channel 4, starring Nicola Cowper as Amanda and the brilliant Prunella Scales as the larger-than-life agony columnist, Patti. Thames Methuen publish the Channel 4 book, also called S.W.A.L.K., written by Paula Milne.
Paula Milne is one of 7 playwrights involved in another new series starting on the same day. April 18th, at 4.45, on ITV. It’s a collection of plays by leading authors, linked by a theme of The Supernatural. Ms Milne’s play is accompanied by works from Leon Garfield, Alan Garner, Jane Hollowood (Piccolo’s founding editor), R Chetwynd Hayes, David Hopkins and Maggie Wadey (who dramatised Stig). The cast is as impressive as the list of authors, with Nicholas Ball, Wilfred Brambell, Colin Jeevons, Faith Brook and Tim Woodward appearing over the seven weeks.
The Mob rules again, OK?
Murphy’s mob are back on screen in a new series which is well into its stride. They all look very happy here; but is all quite as it appears? Is Dunmore United being taken over? Will Mac Murphy (Ken Hutchinson) get the chance to win promotion for the club? Is Sheila (Mandy Mealins, on the left) about to ditch Gerry (Wayne Norman) for the club’s new star player? Where do the loyalties of pretty newcomer Becky Marsh (Mandy France, on the right) really lie? With Boxer and the mob or with revolting Bernie Russell with whom she spends so much time? Will Gunk (Gary Beadle, extreme left) and Wurzel (Lewis Stevens, extreme right) be able to save guard dog Barney from being put down?
If you (or anyone you know) can’t stand the suspense you could always cheat and get the book, Murphy and Co, Anthony Masters, Puffin Plus, 0 14 03.1591 8, £1.25.
Beans for Breakfast, on TVAM
Richard Fowler s bouncing Beans start off TVAM’s children’s programme, Rub-aDub-Tub, at 7.00 am on Sundays, finish it at 8.00 and scurry across the screen in between times linking short films. 7.00 on Sunday mornings.- is a little early for most people, but wakeful small children will be entertained by the hour of cartoons, information and humour. (Bean fans will find more about these characters in books from Longman, £3.75.)
Those who can manage to stay awake past the opening sequence will encounter Curious George, an inquisitive monkey who finds answers to all kinds of important questions. If George looks a little familiar it may be because you know him better as Zozo. When H.A. Rey’s series came to this country from America in the 1940’s his name was diplomatically changed just in case it might cause offence to the then King, George VI. TVAM have bought 104 episodes so we, or at least our early waking infants, could be seeing a lot of George/Zozo in the weeks to come.
The Zozo books are currently published by Bodley Head.
There are plans to involve children’s books further in Rub-a-Dub-Tub (the producer is Anne Wood formerly of Yorkshire’s Book Tower). Watch out for more details as plans are formalised. There is also the possibility of seeing authors and news of the latest books on Saturdays from 8.40 till 9.15, on Data Run.
Andy Robson returns
A second series of Andy Robson (Tyne Tees) is due to start in April and run for 13 weeks. Tom Davidson and Stevie-Lee Pattinson re-create the parts of the two boys which they played in the first very successful serial. The script ‘inspired by’ Frederick Grice’s highly readable story The Courage of Andy Robson (Puffin 85p) is by Ted Childs.
Gran started cheering up BBC I’s See-Saw viewers on February 17th at 1.45 and will continue to romp through life, involving her grandson Jim in her impulsive decisions, for 13 weeks.
Blackie publish four Gran books by Michael and Joanne Cole (£2.50 each). Proving that you (literally) can’t keep a good gran down, she goes hang gliding in Gran Gliding (0 216 91274 1). Certainly a series to add to the growing list of books about lively and enterprising ‘senior citizens’.