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Lez Cooke

Wave of Northern drama had entered the mainstream of British culture. From the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s provincial, working-class drama was current and contemporary, a sign that the landscape of British culture was changing as a new generation sought to shake off the middle-class cultural conservatism of the 1940s–50s COOKE PRINT.indd 14 05/07/2012 13:36 Regionalism 15 as Britain emerged from the torpor of postwar austerity. The New Wave, however, was short-lived, and the election of a new Labour government in 1964, after thirteen years of Conservatism

in A sense of place
Abstract only
Richard Kilborn

remit of the World in Action series, the programme was to be broadly sociological in its aim. The early 1960s were a time when Britain was emerging from a period of post-war austerity and where change was in the air. This particular World in Action programme, with its rather quirky Seven Up title, was designed to test the validity of the claim that Britain was in the grip of a social revolution by considering the prospects of a group of seven-year-olds all drawn from different social backgrounds. As Apted himself remembers: It occurred to Tim Hewat, [the] Australian

in Taking the long view
Form and function
Richard Kilborn

suggested, projects which start life with a distinct sociological orientation have a habit of slowly transmuting into works with a far more biographical inclination. Take Seven Up, for instance, which began life as a World in Action special. The programme was transmitted in 1964 at a time when Britain was slowly moving out of the period of post-war austerity. One of the primary remits of this programme was to consider whether, as some claimed, Britain was still an essentially a classridden society. (The choice of Seven Up subjects was partly determined by a desire to show

in Taking the long view
Abstract only
Lez Cooke

Liverpool accents, perhaps because its focus was on a middle-class family, rather than a working-class one, Sam was replete with Yorkshire accents and dialect, arguably the primary signifier of ‘regionality’ in the serial. Visually, the production combined studio interiors, showing the austerity and poverty in which the villagers lived, with filmed exterior scenes, enabling the iconography of the Yorkshire mining village and surrounding landscapes to be shown. Michael Cox was the producer on Sam and describes how the serial was made on the same traditional production

in A sense of place