Bill Brand (TV series)

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Bill Brand is a British television drama series produced by Thames Television for the ITV network and shown in the summer of 1976.

Written by Trevor Griffiths, the series charted the political progress of the eponymous Brand, a Labour Party Member of Parliament who is selected as Labour candidate for a Lancashire textile constituency, following the death of the sitting Labour MP. He holds the seat with a small majority, but finds the demands of his career at odds with his left-wing convictions.

Screened for one series of eleven episodes, Bill Brand starred Jack Shepherd in the title role. Other notable cast members included: Lynn Farleigh, Alan Badel, Rosemary Frankau, Arthur Lowe, Rosemary Martin, Cherie Lunghi, Geoffrey Palmer, Nigel Hawthorne and Colin Jeavons.

Of these, Lowe played the Prime Minister, Arthur Watson (a character loosely based on Harold Wilson). Badel played a left-wing Cabinet minister, David Last (a character based on Michael Foot). Palmer and Hawthorne played Government ministers from the Gaitskellite wing of the Labour Party. Cherie Lunghi played Alex, a young woman with whom Brand is having an extra-marital affair. Trevor Griffiths was strongly criticised for giving Lunghi's character the same name as a well-known former Rangers F.C. footballer: Rangers supporters felt that Griffiths (a Catholic) was deliberately baiting them.[citation needed]

The series was released on DVD in 2011.


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