representation of individualism and
institutions, revolt and the urge to obey, and of the conflation of
individual and British identities.
A third voice must be added to those of Rudkin and Clarke. Penda’s
Fen exemplifies the contribution made to Play for Today and other single
play strands such as Thirty Minute Theatre (1965–73) and its regional
offshoot Second City Firsts (1973–78) by BBCEnglishRegions (Drama)
Television, based at BBC Birmingham under David Rose. If the single
play represented a studio system, BBC Birmingham – with Rose
exercising his relative autonomy
, whereas a distinctive feature of Coronation
COOKE PRINT.indd 51
A Sense of Place
Street’s regionality was the Lancashire accents of most of its characters, A Family at War was not noted for its Liverpudlian accents.
Ironically it was the BBC, rather than Granada, that helped to
promote the Liverpool accent with The Liver Birds (1969–79) and
with the production, by BBCEnglishRegionsDrama, of work by
Liverpool writers such as Alan Bleasdale, Willy Russell, Neville Smith
and Ted Whitehead (see Chapter 4).
In a section of Granada’s 1980 franchise