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  1. #1
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    Details of this are somewhat sketchy� In the late seventies (when I think this was broadcast), I'd have know it as a 'telly programme' but I guess we call them 'docu-dramas' now! Anyway, the premise of the programme was a true story based around a young girl who had been in and out of care and trouble with the police but had set fire to a pair of curtains in a children's home. I think she ended up with a hefty prison sentence (maybe even life) and I seem to recall her name was Ruth. I think Granada may have produced the programme. Any ideas??

  2. #2
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    Rings a few bells. The one that I vaguely remember, which comes close to your description, was a drama broadcasted in 1981. I think Dennis Waterman played a brief role as a social worker. As far as I can recollect, the drama was set somewhere in the north of England.



    Also, ITV broadcast a series called Kids in 1979. It ran for 13 episdoes, each one centring on a particular case study. Could this be what you are looking for.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info... It could've been 1981, I guess. I can't see anything with Dennis Waterman in it on IMDB that looks likely but it was set in the north of England.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK rose ellen's Avatar
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    I remember seeing that programme.I think it was the late 1970`s and was a documentry.The girl got live in prison for setting fire to the curtains and I think the programme makers told her it might bring her case to the attention of the public and help to get her free.I don`t know what the outcome was.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Can't help you with the documentary but the women's name was Patricia Baker. In September 1979 she was sentenced to life imprisonment after breaking a probation order imposed for burning a pair of curtains at a home she was staying it. She had a mental age of 13. Apparently the judge felt there was nowhere else for her to go because there were no secure hospital places. The life sentence was rescinded in Feburary 1980 when a place became available though I don't know what happened after that. (Source - The Guardian)

  6. #6
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    Thanks to everyone for their help with this, especially the name.

    A quick Google search hasn't revealed the name of the programme, but at least other people remember it!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK rose ellen's Avatar
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    I looked the play up in one of my old diaries and found out it was called Life for Christine.I watched it on Tuesday December 2 1980.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    I'm not the original poster but am grateful anyway to rose ellen as I looked through quite a lot of TVTimes issues from 1978-80 yesterday. Now I have the title, Life for Christine (1980) (TV), and the date of broadcast, I can tell you that this programme received great attention from the TVTimes, dated 29th November 1980. It's star, Nicholas Ball (fresh from Hazell), is on the front cover and there is a two-page article inside. I've chosen this extract to enlighten MrSkipling a bit more:



    Christine's crime? Setting fire to a pair of curtains in a community home.

    Her horrifying story is told in Life For Christine, a play screened on Tuesday. It argues that the present system of dealing with juvenile crime, although based on the principle that "punishment must be in the best interests of the child" can cause the young offender to be condemned to life "imprisonment".



    Christine Andrews is not her real name. To spare her family embarassment, the girl chose a pseudonym: Christine, because she once had a friend of that name, and Andrews after an old boyfriend. She is portrayed in Tuesday's play by actress Amanda York.




    Amanda York was a regular in Angels shortly afterwards but has had no credit since 1985 I'm afraid. Others in the cast include soap stars Helene Palmer (Ida Clough in Coronation Street) and Doreen Sloane (Annabelle Collins in Brookside), Paul Shane (Hi-De-Hi), Marjorie Yates (who I mostly remember from another forgotten play, Kisses At Fifty), and dear old George Malpas.



    Please credit rose ellen with Best Answer as I wouldn't have been able to add this information without her help.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England Maurice's Avatar
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    name='rose ellen']I looked the play up in one of my old diaries and found out it was called Life for Christine.I watched it on Tuesday December 2 1980.


    BFI database is brief:

    Play by Fay Weldon

    A children's rights campaigner investigates the case of a 14-year-old girl given a life sentence in Holloway jail.



    Based on a true story.



    Cast includes Nicholas Ball as Colin, Mandy York as Christine - but no sign of Dennis Waterman.



    Two earlier documentaries about "Mini" Cooper were updated in 40 Minutes On (BBC4, 2006). Viewers would also be interested to know more about "Christine".



    LIFE FOR CHRISTINE should have been included in my thread starter last September: Documentaries about approved schools/custodial institutions.



    cornershop15's post (which I've now seen) contains useful extracts, from TV Times, underlining the importance of this landmark play. The whole article would be interesting.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    One minute too late, Maurice. Sorry!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    name='Maurice']cornershop15's post (which I've now seen) contains useful extracts, from TV Times, underlining the importance of this landmark play. The whole article would be interesting.


    Only just noticed your revised post, Maurice. Thanks for including the extra information about those updated documentaries.



    I'd love to be able to copy the article and the photos to this thread but don't know how, or indeed if it's possible as this is on disc and in PDF format. Sorry. At least rose ellen provided us with the all-important title!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England Maurice's Avatar
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    LIFE FOR CHRISTINE (1980) and JOHNNY ODDBALL (1985), about Michael "Mini" Cooper, have parallels because both children received controversial life sentences following offences of arson.



    40 MINUTES ON, including JOHNNY ODDBALL, can be viewed on the excellent website:"Psychological Documentaries/Veoh".



    LIFE FOR CHRISTINE would be a suitable addition to the collection.

  13. #13
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    Life for Christine. This Granada TV production is available for hire on video and DVD from a charity which sells films on social problems. It's called Concord Media and website is Concord Media

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Thank you for that link, Eric. I'd like to see the film, but �30 is far too expensive for a 90-minute DVD, even a rarity like this.

    name='Maurice']

    cornershop15's post (which I've now seen) contains useful extracts, from TV Times, underlining the importance of this landmark play. The whole article would be interesting.


    name='cornershop15']Only just noticed your revised post, Maurice. Thanks for including the extra information about those updated documentaries.



    I'd love to be able to copy the article and the photos to this thread but don't know how, or indeed if it's possible as this is on disc and in PDF format. Sorry


    What a difference two weeks made! Britmovie history shows that I created my (unsuccessful) thread on uploading PDF Files on 12th May, while my last message here was on 30th April. At that stage I feared I'd never be able to put anything up for people, but I've posted hundreds of documents since then. Extraordinary. I must have forgotten that last post very quickly but am delighted to bring Maurice that article nearly six months later:









    I can post the Nicholas Ball cover at a more appropriate thread, if anyone requests it.

    The programme was also featured in the 'Inside Television' section of the magazine:


  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England Maurice's Avatar
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    Thanks, cornershop, much appreciated



    The articles help to explain why 'Christine', and 'Mini' Cooper faced massive challenges from the "child care" system itself while they attempted to address their behavioural problems.



    Let's hope an "update" programme will, for the first time, cover both 'Christine' and 'Mini' - and attend to a key question.



    In what ways, if any, have services for "similar" children and young people improved during the past thirty years?





    Maurice

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