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Stockport... So Good They Named It Once

Radio 4
1999 (six episodes)

Writers Damian Lanigan and Jim Poyser used their own experience of growing up around the titular town south of Manchester as the basis for this relatively fresh and original sitcom series.  The unusual setting in a distinct real-life location apparently attracted some attention in the local press, and a sense of place was lovingly established via continual "County" and "Robbies' Mild" references, plus liberal use of the northwestern rhyming-slang pejorative "bobbins".  Each episode centred on the doings of one or more of the Conroy family: Maureen (Beverley Callard) and husband Eddie (John McArdle), a cab driver and aspiring champion organist, were parents to Michael (Jason Done), lead singer of the scout-hut-conquering Sweater Girls; Karen (Jo-Anne Knowles), who returned home trailing an unsuitable Southern boyfriend; and the 15-year-old narrator, Jason (Dominic Monaghan), a worldly-wise youth embittered by his girlfriend's decision to dump him for a "spoon" of an Italian exchange student.  Also present was idiot brother-in-law Dave (Stefan Escreet), a besuited young professional and proud owner of a "Ford Foccus".  Regular support, in various roles, was provided by Chris Pavlo and Emma Clarke; Lanigan and Poyser themselves also made appearances. 

© JB Sumner 2000.  Created 30/4/00