By Stephen Lacey

Tony Garnett is the 1st book-length examine of 1 of the main revered and prolific manufacturers operating in British tv. From ground-breaking dramas from the 1960's similar to Up the Junction and Cathy Come Home to the "must see" sequence within the 1990's and 2000's akin to This existence and The Cops, Garnett has produced one of the most very important and influential British tv drama.

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Festival represented the highcultural aspirations of the Corporation, and consisted largely of adaptations of stage plays from the British and European literary 03-chap 02 26/2/07 10:13 am Page 35 The 1960s 35 tradition. It was produced by Peter Luke, who went on to produce similar plays in the first season of The Wednesday Play. First Night, however, was a ‘new drama’ strand of original plays for television, often by writers new to the medium. Its main producer was James MacTaggart, who had produced Teletale and other new play anthologies for the BBC in the early 1960s.

We deliberately transmitted some that we knew wouldn’t attract a big audience but we would always put one in front and one behind that we knew would hold it up. So our ratings went from as low as 3 or 4 million, up to 13 million. (Macmurraugh-Kavanagh 1998: 27) The first full season of The Wednesday Play signalled clearly that issuebased, contemporary drama would have a presence. As Lez Cooke has pointed out, ‘[t]wenty-seven writers contributed thirty-three new plays, all but one written especially for television, to The Wednesday Play from January–December 1965.

Liveness’, and the studio-based theatrical model, had its defenders, notably Don Taylor, who at 23 became the youngest television producer/director at the BBC. Taylor, who was essentially a literary modernist and had a close working relationship with David Mercer, promoted an aesthetic based on continuous, unedited performance in the studio, the centrality of the actor, and the primacy of words over image. Significantly, Taylor also led the opposition to Newman’s appointment to the BBC (Taylor 1990: 186).

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