On the 2nd August 1987, a full month before the first series of The New Statesman began on ITV, The Sunday Mirror was already trying to stir up a controversy. They even appeared to be trying to bait one Norman Tebbit into a reaction.
Campaign wouldn’t air until 1988, and was written by Gerard MacDonald, for star Sarah Copeland. Here’s the amazing title sequence.
This interesting nugget can be found in the Mirror on the 4th September, suggesting a ballsy promotional campaign by the producers.
Anyone know if this ever actually happened? Who was the MP they convinced to host the screening?
In the listings for the first week of the show, some papers were a little reluctant to give Alan his full name, opting instead for something much more innocuous. This appeared in the Surrey-Hants Star, on Thursday 10th September.
On the same day, The Daily Record was still trying to stoke up some fury, probably because that’s how the show was being pushed to them by Yorkshire Television.
I wonder if it was Renee Short who screened the preview …
The next day, and 48 full hours before the first episode had even aired, the Staffordshire Sentinel was reporting on the outrage among MPs.
The Tories there, calling their constituents too stupid to recognise a fictional sitcom.
The Derby Daily Telegraph took a rather more conventional approach to their preview, even as they were experimenting with their new digital layout software.
The Daily Record did calm down a little bit.
The morning after the first episode, and the Liverpool Echo reviewed the show, comparing it rather unfairly to The Two Of Us, for some reason.
Ann Mann, in The Stage on Thursday 17th September, was more than impressed with the show.
I’m wracking my brains to try and remember where this mention of B’stard’s daughter comes from. Is it in the dialogue? The only other reference I can find to her is in this interview with Alan himself, in the June 2006 edition of What’s On.
Your daughter’s name is Margaret Hilda – named in honour of your former leader, Mrs Thatcher. Were you tempted to change her name when you jumped ship to Labour?
How naive of you to assume I really do have a daughter just because I said so in my Who’s Who entry. Margaret Hilda B’Stard does not exist, she was a politically useful fiction. As for any other paternity claims against me, I refer you to my solicitors, Bludgeon, Stiletto and Alibi.