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Give Us a Break

SHORT-LIVED SNOOKERDRAM with Daley-esque geezerian overtones, starring ROBERT “ONLY WANTED TO BE A GOOD MAN” LINDSAY as a small-time worshipper of the baize Mickey Noades trying to make it in the club tournament circuit. Much cameo business by the likes of Tony Knowles. Nephew played by wet-behind-the-ears-looking PAUL MCGANN. Written by erstwhile carpenter and future BILL toolsman Geoff McQueen.



  1. Applemask

    June 28, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Theme tune by Joe Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhn, technical advice by professional also-ran Geoff’s Foulds.

  2. Droogie

    December 8, 2020 at 12:49 am

    When Bob Geldof was in career limbo after starring in The Wall and pre-Band Aid , he starred in a forgotten British movie called Number One playing a Hurricane Higgins type trying his luck in the snooker halls of London. ( Mel Smith played his manager.) There was also that silly Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire musical too that came later in 1987. It’s truly bizarre that snooker dramas were once a genre in the 80’s.

    • THX 1139

      December 8, 2020 at 7:59 pm

      Even more bizarre, there were more snooker-based records!

      • Glenn Aylett

        December 8, 2020 at 8:33 pm

        Football was totally out of fashion in the eighties, snooker was the in sport for a while, so it’s not surprising there were dramas about it. Remember, the most watched programme of 1985 was a snooker final.

  3. Droogie

    September 5, 2023 at 12:46 am

    The inescapable curse of Chas & Dave was everywhere in the early 80’s. This cheeky cockney theme tune sung by Joe Brown ( also responsible for the theme to forgotten ITV sitcom Cowboys ) predates the horrible Snooker Loopy a few years later.

  4. David Smith

    September 5, 2023 at 5:45 am

    There was also Mike Batt’s the Snooker Song, by Captain Sensible, used as the theme for Big Break – although that actually originally came from Batt’s cast album for his musical The Hunting of the Snark.

  5. Richardpd

    September 5, 2023 at 11:03 pm

    For some reason I used to get this mixed up with Big Deal!

    Geoff McQueen was quite late getting into the screenwriting game but soon wrote Woodentop which was a pilot or sorts for The Bill, sadly he died too soon after writing The Rules Of Engagement.

    An episode of Lovejoy had a down at heal snooker player mostly playing exhibition games & trick shots to pay the bills.

  6. Glenn Aylett

    September 6, 2023 at 2:58 pm

    Minder featured a snooker and pool hall in some episodes, including one where a brawl broke out. It seemed for a time in the eighties, snooker was the in thing for television companies. I wonder too if Robert Lindsay took the role in Give Us A Break as he needed to shake off being typecast as Citizen Smith.

    • Richardpd

      September 6, 2023 at 10:51 pm

      Even earlier in The Sweeney featured a snooker hall at least once, probably because at the time they were the sort of place for bad guys to hang out.

      Robert Lindsey had been a boxer in Seconds Out not long after Citizen Smith ended, ironically it was the series that caused the BBC cancel John Sullivan’s proposed series about a low level football team & replace it with something about a market trader…

      Interestingly Geoff McQueen also wrote Big Deal, so it’s no wonder I got it confused with Give Us A Break.

      • David Smith

        September 8, 2023 at 7:16 pm

        Facts Amazing: Citizen Smith had an episode entitled Only Fools and Horses.

  7. Glenn Aylett

    September 8, 2023 at 10:23 am

    Big Deal was another of those small time hustler series that seemed to proliferate in the eighties and do well for both the BBC and ITV. I think both broadcasters found their niche by portraying wide boys wanting to make an easy buck as anti heroes and characters viewers could root for when they came across a nastier villain or came good. For all he was devious, treated Terry like dirt at times and was cowardly, you always sided with Arthur Daley when a real villain was after him, the police were chasing him and when he occasionally came good. A shame we can’t have shows like this now.

    • Richardpd

      September 8, 2023 at 10:19 pm

      With both Only Fools & Horses and Minder being popular in the 1980s it’s understandable that a few other shows with loveable rogue characters would be commissioned.

      • David Smith

        September 9, 2023 at 11:29 am

        I remember they really tried to sell the Minder/OFAH Christmas night specials of 1985 as the “battle of the lovable rogue wheeler dealers”. (Even if the shows weren’t *that* similar.)

        • Richardpd

          September 9, 2023 at 10:17 pm

          Yes I’ve heard about that!

          • David Smith

            September 10, 2023 at 4:58 am

            Mind you, I guess both those episodes were based abroad (well, on the Orient Express in Minder’s case, and wasn’t the OFAH one To Hull and Back?) so I guess vaguely similar scenarios.

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