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Thread: Band of Gold

  1. #1
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    Default Band of Gold

    I am not referring to Freda Payne's 1970 Number One hit (so please don't put this in the "Music" part of the forum, Mods), but the 1990s ITV Monday 9.00 pm drama made by Granada, where the main protagonists were not only in the drama, but were on the game at the same time. Did anyone watch this when it was on, and if you were male, did you find the drama series, a little bit more, shall we say, interesting? Set in Manchester although someone else thought it was set in Bradford which was the wrong side of the Pennines for Granadaland, post-1968. The final series in 1997 was abbreviated to just GOLD, so that it would be the same as Spandau Ballet's hit and not Freda Payne's.

    Feminism was not the word: cue Cathy Tyson looking a bit like Mel B but without the leopard camouflage trousers, and Barbara Dickson taking part as well. Prisoner: Cell Block H and Within There Walls might have influenced Band of... And yes, it does spell out the word BOG when abbreviated. YouTube blanks out some episodes due to its adult humour, although we are all grown ups on here, aren't we? And to think that Tyson got a part in Grange Hill a few years later...

    I have to admit that one does feel sorry for the characters; having to do what they are doing because the rent, mortgage, council tax and TV Licence need paying, but then again, one also feels sorry for the actresses to take on the parts in the first place, but then again, PCBH did that 15 years previously - Chrissie Latham, anyone? Better still, what about Lily Savage or Pauline Calf? Many years ago over on the DS forum I commented on the series and how it felt too ironic for some viewers.

    In true Granada tradition it shares values with Coronation Street - our short-skirted heroes on Band of Gold bear resemblance with various Rovers Return barmaids, and also, it has a character called Curly who was a businessman in a suit who wanted some playtime at the end of work, complete with black briefcase full of hosiery. Tyson's character was dressed in one episode as if she was auctioning for one of Brucie's Dolly Dealers on Play Your Cards Right, but was doing feather dusting as if she was Freddie Mercury in Queen's I want to Break Free. And then she boiled a kettle - but she wasn't going to make a cup of tea with it either. He was in pain, understandably as a result, and the Independent Television Commission also received a few complaints as a result as well, mostly from men we assume.

    I think that the main problem was that it seemed to me in that respect to be an ironic parody of a Carry On film, and that was what made it almost feel to me as it was like a comedy drama if anything. It felt like a Carry On to someone like myself, and in response to the kettle of water scene, I half-expected Joan Simms' (as Matron's) voice suddenly being heard, going: "what a bit fuss about such a little thing", and Curly being played by either Kenneths Williams or Connor. Oh, and the Tyson character also wore yellow rubber gloves as well - you know, the ones used for washing up because the it was a supermarket brand and not Fairy Liquid that was supposed to keep one's hands soft. I just cannot help laughing at some of the scenes as "The Game" as we will call it, seems to be such a parodied thing in British society.

    Did it make an impression on you if you watched it? - well, it did for me just a little bit...
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Band of Gold

    Kay Mellor series we’re always good, now on my watch list, will see if it’s on dailymotion.

    according to Wikipedia, the series is set in Bradford

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Band of Gold

    I remember my parents watching it, but I was a bit too busy with college work at the time.
    The Trickster On The Roof

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Band of Gold

    I think you have grossly underestimated this series George.
    At a time when Sunday evenings were normally the preserve of safe family viewing, Band of Gold was a hard hitting, gritty series with a Stella cast of both established and up and coming actors. It certainly wasn't a Carry On parody although it did have the occasional humour which is a Kay Mellor staple.
    It reminded me in many ways of the great 1980's series "Widows" in that it was a very female led story, albeit with very different story lines.

    Or maybe I am in the wrong and remember it through younger eyes. I have seen this come up as available on my TV box so might revisit it and see if it holds up as well as I remember it. Do not remember seeing the 3rd series where few of the original cast return.

    Sent from my SM-N970F using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Band of Gold

    Well, I was a teenager at the time when it was on, and also it was on Monday nights rather than Sundays.

    I don't think that I have underestimated the series - I saw it when it was on myself I did think that there had been nothing quite like it on TV. Firstly, my own observations on such series can be very different to most other viewers; and secondly, my point is that when I said that it was like a parody of a Carry On film was in relation to the sexual implication of what we saw in the series not the fact that it had comedy elements. One can find non-comedic elements in shows, especially dramas, funny - I admit that I do find some things funny that shouldn't be funny, and Band of Gold was one of them. I am a bit like that.

    I think that the main problem back then was the fact that I had never seen anything like it before - most of us have imaginations where we come to our own personal conclusions with regards to things like this!
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Band of Gold

    Quote Originally Posted by George 1978 View Post
    Well, I was a teenager at the time when it was on, and also it was on Monday nights rather than Sundays.

    I don't think that I have underestimated the series - I saw it when it was on myself I did think that there had been nothing quite like it on TV. Firstly, my own observations on such series can be very different to most other viewers; and secondly, my point is that when I said that it was like a parody of a Carry On film was in relation to the sexual implication of what we saw in the series not the fact that it had comedy elements. One can find non-comedic elements in shows, especially dramas, funny - I admit that I do find some things funny that shouldn't be funny, and Band of Gold was one of them. I am a bit like that.

    I think that the main problem back then was the fact that I had never seen anything like it before - most of us have imaginations where we come to our own personal conclusions with regards to things like this!
    Well explained, and as someone who once burst out laughing at a funeral, I get your point ...

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Band of Gold

    Quote Originally Posted by philfrommancs View Post
    Well explained, and as someone who once burst out laughing at a funeral, I get your point ...
    Thank goodness...
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

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