I notice you've mentioned the early '80s afternoon soap, Together. I remember it vaguely. Can you jog my memory?
Not very much I'm afraid, Karen!
Together was produced by Southern Television and first hit our screens in late January 1980.
It was set in a modern purpose built block of housing association flats called Rutherford Court, in reality a bunch of studio sets. I'm not sure if there was ever any location filming. I don't recall any.
Sarah Greene, later of Blue Peter and Saturday Superstore, was Tricia Webber, one of the show's early characters. Sheila Fay (formerly Beryl's Mum in The Liver Birds) was the warden of a small housing association block of flats. Her husband was played by John Burgess, later "Bing" Crosby of Brookside fame. Annie Leake, formerly Wully Harris of Beryl's Lot, also had a role in the series.
I recall thinking that the show was originally slightly dowdy. The opening titles were later revamped and a theme tune with lyrics, sung I believe by Cleo Laine, was added.
Living side by side
Our lives are waves in a tide
And just as the tide flows
Our fortunes may come and then go
But with our friends we can survive
If we can keep alive
The art of living
Together was originally filmed three days before transmission, allowing for some topicality in characters' comments, but the second series went out live, and this allowed even more. Apparently, the studio canteen used to empty at 1.30 on transmission days as staff clustered around the Together studio sets, eager for cock-ups.
Together introduced a gay character called Peter Hunt in March 1981, who lived with a man called Trevor. Perhaps this sudden brave gay awareness theme from staid old Southern was inspired by the 1980 Waggoners' Walk Rob Pengelly story-line? Who knows? The writing was on the wall for Southern by March 1981 anyway, so perhaps it was just a case of "what the heck?!"
I thought Together was a good serial, but the only story-line I remember now was one involving the flats' communal TV aerial going wrong and Sheila Fay's character being concerned as the residents liked Play Your Cards Right - which had begun in 1980 - and were in danger of missing an instalment!
Martha Finch (Kathleen Byron) endures a nasty moment on a disgusting green telephone in 1981.
Southern Television lost its franchise in late 1980, and its last day of broadcasting was 31 December 1981. Together had ended earlier that year.
I'm trying to get more Together info and will post it on '80s Actual if I'm successful.
Scottish Television soap Take The High Road's debut followed hard on the heels of Together, being broadcast from February 1980. That show was, of course, rather longer lasting!
Another afternoon soap of the 1980s was the English-speaking Welsh serial Taff Acre from HTV, which debuted in 1981. And quickly ended. Amongst its stars was Richard Davies, formerly of Please, Sir! Mr Davies had had previous soap experience as Idris Hopkins, corner shop keeper of Coronation Street.
And then there was Thames Television's Miracles Take Longer in 1984, set in an advice centre, and running to just one series.
Gems (1985, Thames) had a rag trade setting and ran for three series.
There were only ever two series of "Together". The show made its debut in January 1980 and a year later the second series was on-air. But unfortunately Southern Television had lost its franchise in late 1980, so the writing was on the wall. On January 9, 1981, the "Daily Mirror" Viewing Guide synopsis for "Together" reveals that: 'Martha Finch hopes to get some decorating done'.
Also on screen was Johnny Ball - launching a new show called "Think Again" - and those were the wondrous days of the first showings of "Monkey" on BBC 2 - 'Adventure with Tripitaka and his companions'. Sheer bliss!
I hope Martha (whoever she was) got her decorating done before the plug was pulled on "Together"!
According to legend, during the second series of "Together", which went out live, studio hands wallpapered a whole set during the commercial break. Perhaps it was Martha's?!