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Paddy Shennan: Rose-tinted specs on the city.

Byline: Paddy Shennan

I HOPE those people who look back at the mid-1970s through rose-tinted specs watched the first episode of The Rotters' Club (BBC2, Wednesday) - with their proper specs on. All the ingredients for a living hell were here, from the serious: the IRA, racism, strife in the workplace and power cuts, to the trivial: bad haircuts, tank tops, big, flowery shirt collars . . . and prog rock.

And everyone wore flares the lessons of history sadly haven't been learned by today's fashion victims. The three-part drama, written by the can-do-no-wrong double act of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (Likely Lads, Porridge, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet) and based on the novel by Jonathan Coe, tells the interconnecting stories of three teenage boys and their families in 1970s Bir-mingham. There is obviously a lot to cram in and it was difficult keeping up with the frantic pace of events.

Liverpool actress ChristineTremarco (pictured), as a junior manager's secretary who's having a bit on the side with a union official from the car plant where she works, continues to do what she does so well quietly carving out a fine career as an actress who plays meaty parts in meaty dramas.

And elsewhere, Sarah Lancashire evokes memories of a famous, former role Raquel in Coronation Street. But have pity on her poor character, Barbara: Her son has taken to writing essays on the prog rock horror Tales From Topographic Oceans by Yes.

Thankfully, things pick up on the music front next week . . .

punk rock comes to Brum!
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 29, 2005
Previous Article:Paddy Shennan: That's my line, Wossie; Tribute to the team behind the talent.
Next Article:Paddy Shennan: Fahrenheit 9/11.

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