In Hackney in 1977, Johnny Jarvis and Alan Lipton become unlikely friends in their final year at school: Jarvis is the class clown, a popular lad with a talent for welding, while Lipton is ... See full summary »






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Series cast summary:
Mark Farmer Mark Farmer ...  Johnny Jarvis 6 episodes, 1983
Ian Sears Ian Sears ...  Alan Lipton 6 episodes, 1983
Alrick Riley ...  Paul Turner 6 episodes, 1983
Jamie Foreman ...  Manning 6 episodes, 1983
Catherine Harding Catherine Harding ...  Mrs. Jarvis 6 episodes, 1983
Maurice Colbourne Maurice Colbourne ...  Jake 6 episodes, 1983
Johanna Hargreaves Johanna Hargreaves ...  Stella 5 episodes, 1983
Diana Davies Diana Davies ...  Mrs. Lipton 6 episodes, 1983
Nick Stringer ...  The Colonel 6 episodes, 1983
Jim Findley ...  Kenny 5 episodes, 1983
Nadia Cattouse Nadia Cattouse ...  Mrs. Turner 4 episodes, 1983
Neil Cunningham Neil Cunningham ...  Rev. David Sales 4 episodes, 1983
Dorian Healy ...  Spud 4 episodes, 1983
Gary Shail Gary Shail ...  Guy 4 episodes, 1983
Tommy Eytle Tommy Eytle ...  Mr. Turner 3 episodes, 1983
John Bardon ...  Mr. Jarvis 3 episodes, 1983
Ancel McFarlane Ancel McFarlane ...  Stephen Turner 2 episodes, 1983
Sarah London Sarah London ...  Pauline 2 episodes, 1983
Kevin Allen ...  Group member 2 episodes, 1983
Vincent Allen Vincent Allen ...  Mick 2 episodes, 1983
Toby Arnold Toby Arnold ...  Group member 2 episodes, 1983
Martin Carroll Martin Carroll ...  PE Teacher 2 episodes, 1983
Nick Corfield Nick Corfield ...  Group member 2 episodes, 1983
Jim Dunk Jim Dunk ...  Mason 2 episodes, 1983
John Goodrum John Goodrum ...  Group member 2 episodes, 1983
Lauren Hayes Lauren Hayes ...  Group member 2 episodes, 1983
Chris Jury ...  Benny 2 episodes, 1983
Diana Kyle Diana Kyle ...  Clare 2 episodes, 1983
Caroline Lancaster Caroline Lancaster ...  Careers officer 2 episodes, 1983
Sidney Livingstone Sidney Livingstone ...  Mr. Lowther 2 episodes, 1983
Joe McGann ...  Steve 2 episodes, 1983
Lionel Ngakane Lionel Ngakane ...  Mr. Casson 2 episodes, 1983
Janet Palmer Janet Palmer ...  Rose 2 episodes, 1983
Mark Penfold Mark Penfold ...  Bannerman / ... 2 episodes, 1983
Peggy Phango Peggy Phango ...  Mrs. Stapleton 2 episodes, 1983
Martin Philips Martin Philips ...  Group member 2 episodes, 1983
Archie Pool Archie Pool ...  Papa 2 episodes, 1983
Anthony Powell Anthony Powell ...  Arthur 2 episodes, 1983
Robert Putt Robert Putt ...  Barber 2 episodes, 1983
Earl Rhodes ...  Jiff 2 episodes, 1983
Mike Smart Mike Smart ...  Knight 2 episodes, 1983
Chris Tummings ...  Sparrow 2 episodes, 1983
Paul Vincent Paul Vincent ...  Benson 2 episodes, 1983
Arthur Whybrow Arthur Whybrow ...  Mr. Davies / ... 2 episodes, 1983
Sonya Saul Sonya Saul ...  Sharon Turner 1 episode, 1983
Paul Bhattacharjee ...  Ranjit 1 episode, 1983
Bill Bingham Bill Bingham ...  TV Interviewer 1 episode, 1983
Karen Bowen Karen Bowen ...  Sarah 1 episode, 1983
Ian Brimble ...  Sidney 2 episodes, 1983


In Hackney in 1977, Johnny Jarvis and Alan Lipton become unlikely friends in their final year at school: Jarvis is the class clown, a popular lad with a talent for welding, while Lipton is a bookish dreamer who spends his time fabricating impressive exploits, pondering the future and fantasising about the father he's never met. As they leave school and anxiously embark on an uncertain future, can their friendship survive? Written by GusF

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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tv mini series | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama







Release Date:

10 November 1983 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(6 episodes)


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Did You Know?


During the first episode, Alan Lipton's classmates mock him by singing the real life 'Safeway' supermarket television jingle to him (at the time there was a rival chain of supermarkets called 'Lipton's'). This was quite unusual at the time as for decades the BBC usually went to great lengths to avoid mentioning real companies in non news programmes as they had a strict policy against anything that could be deemed as free publicity. This policy was gradually loosened up in the 1990s when the policy started to look a bit absurd and old fashioned.. See more »


Midway through episode 1 set in 1977, Johnny Jarvis walks with his dad who is going to work. His dad is carrying a folded tabloid newspaper with the partly visible headline "Denis warms US up", (presumably Denis Thatcher, who in 1977 was not headline material, so this would be a 1983 paper used on set during filming). In episode 2, set a year later in 1978, Johnny again walks his dad to work, who is carrying the same newspaper. See more »

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User Reviews

Johnny Be Good
11 March 2004 | by buckaroobanzai50See all my reviews

I have very vague memories of this series being like a serious version of a sitcom in which Mark Farmer also starred, called Relative Strangers. In both, Farmer portrays a disaffected youth who tries to return to his roots and rediscover his family and identity. He is not always successful in this endeavour, and seems to meet various characters of differing quality along the way. It was made by the BBC on an obviously low budget, and filmed on location around various parts of inner city London. I have to say that the main reason I do recall it though, is because every week a teacher at my school would show us recordings of it "...because it's a waste of my time trying to teach you lot R.E. for half an hour a week!".

How Ironic.

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