Saturday, 12 August 2017

761 Fighting Back

First  viewed :  4  August  1986

This  was  a  five-part  Monday  night  serial, a  sort  of  Cathy  Come  Home  for  the  eighties   although  rather  more  optimistic  in  tone. Faded  pop  singer  Hazel  O' Connor  returned  to  acting  as  Viv  Sharpe  a  feisty  single  mother  fighting  the  system  in  multicultural  Bristol .  Viv  has  two  kids,  Neil  ( Tony  Carney )  by  feckless  Scouse  boyfriend  Bruce  ( Derek  Thompson  again )  and  Yvonne  ( Cheryl  Maiker )  by  black  drug  dealer  Danny  ( Malcolm  Frederick ). She  later  completes  the  sexual  hat-trick  by  sleeping  with  slippery  Asian  lawyer  Eddy  ( Madhav  Sharma  ). Before  that  though,  Viv  has  her  kids  taken  away  but  fights  back  from  squat-land  getting  involved  in  local  politics  with  the  aid  of   a  lesbian  couple.

It  was  OK  although  some  of  the  characters  veered  towards  stereotypes. It  wasn't  really  my  mum's  thing  at  all  so  I  watched  it  on  and  off, the  first  and  final  episodes  and  perhaps  one  in  between.

Despite  a  strong  performance  as  Viv, there were  no  more  TV  roles  for  Hazel  who  divided  her  time  thereafter  between  stage  roles  and  trying  to  resurrect  her  singing  career. She  still tours  regularly  from  her  base  in  Ireland. As  we'll  soon  see, Thompson  hung  around  in  Bristol  for  his  next  TV  role.


  1. Like The Price, this is another one I wouldn't mind seeing. I vaguely recall my parents watching it at the time and how struck I was by Madhav Sharma's character saying that back home, he was a white man. Quite an eye opening statement that ultimately helped shape my views on race really.

    1. As of this morning all five episodes are on YouTube, Mark. Happy viewing !

    2. Excellent! Thanks for the tip :) Just remembered Thompson played one of the disinterested music men in Hazel's Breaking Glass too

  2. Catching up with this now, watched the first ep the other night. You might want to edit your Derek Thompson reference though; the character is Scouse, not Irish. Thompson, a native of Belfast, can do a spot on NI accent. His Scouse however, leaves something to be desired, bless