The Paper Lads

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Back in the 70s when I used to watch television as it was broadcast, I was a fan of this series from the north east.  I was a London boy and the idea that some British people spoke differently and lived in different cities was exotic.  This series had Geordie youngsters about the same age as me and that was part of the appeal.  It was only in the mid 80s that I visited Newcastle for the first time.

I watched both series on DVD recently to relive that part of my youth.  I was impressed that the stories had a basis in real life.  I was never much of a science fiction fan and I don’t know what I would make of children’s television today with an emphasis on the fantastical.  You have to remember that, back then, soaps were less issue driven than now so stories that showed dilemmas faced by children were fascinating.  Most of the episodes were written by local writers.

Baz was always my favourite character.  He is second from the left in this photo.  He was the steady one.  Maybe that is what I aspired to.

ITV in the 70s still had a regional structure and programmes reflected the areas where they were made.  This made them even more interesting to a Londoner like me.  Tyne Tees was the TV company for the north east of England but programmes from Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol were equally as exciting.  I didn’t venture very far out of London when I was a boy and it was only after I left home for university that I started to explore other places in the UK.  I well remember my first visit to Newcastle when I saw the Tyne Bridge, looking just as it does in the opening credits of ‘The Paper Lads’.

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