TV Cream

TV: P is for...

Pennies From Heaven

National Service neuroses you can dance toPSYCHOLOGICAL HOT shoe shuffle from the predictably barbed pen of DENNIS POTTER, here funnelling his usual concerns (treacherous husbands, put-upon wives, over-made-up prostitutes) into the life of BOB HOSKINS, a cardboad-suited 1930s sheet music salesman prone to breaking into other people’s songs at convenient plot points. GEMMA CRAVEN was his missus having to put up with Bob’s penchant for a quick Charleston while she was trying to do the pots. CHERYL CAMPBELL was the bit on the side that almost brought the entire edifice tumbling down, while KENNETH COLLEY turned up from time to time as the Accordion Man, a convoluted concoction that wasn’t real but thought he was but actually wasn’t. Or something. Actually one of Potter’s best efforts, though that’s largely by virtue of most of the rest of his work being crap.



  1. Bob 'oskins

    June 12, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Um, Gemma Craven played the wife (who could forget the lipstick bit?) and Cheryl Campbell was the mistress, not the other way around.

  2. TV Cream

    June 13, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Much obliged Mr ‘Oskins sir.

  3. Richard Davies

    October 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    My Dad is a bit Dennis Potter fan & really enjoyed this back in the day.

    The film version wasn’t up to much though.

  4. Duchamps_Mutt

    April 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    “Actually one of Potter’s best efforts, though that’s largely by virtue of most of the rest of his work being crap.”

    Wow! Sure sounds like you know a lot about being a writer, mister.

  5. Richardpd

    September 3, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    I’ve watched this in full since the above post.

    Even without the sidereal singing along to mid 1930s songs it would be a great drama, Dennis Potter manages to fit in all his usual hallmarks in.

    As well as the ones mentioned above, he has some scenes set in the Forest of Dean, a child being abused, a brutal headmaster, at least one character losing their sense of reality due to the stress in their life, someone trying to improve their lot in life & making it an even bigger mess, as well as lots of mid 20th century music.

    Accordion Man

  6. Tom Ronson

    March 31, 2022 at 2:32 am

    Sparked a revival of interest in Al Bowlly, one of the greatest crooners ever to draw breath. Sadly killed when a parachute mine exploded outside his flat in 1941. ‘The Fokker will rue the day!’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top