one summer

one summer

A fan site dedicated to the 5 part TV series produced by Yorkshire Television for Channel 4, broadcast in 1983

Written by Willy Russell
Directed by Gordon Flemyng
Produced by Keith Richardson

Starring David Morrissey, Spencer Leigh & James Hazeldine

A fan site dedicated to the 5 part TV series produced by Yorkshire Television for Channel 4, broadcast in 1983

Written by Willy Russell
Directed by Gordon Flemyng
Produced by Keith Richardson

Starring David Morrissey, Spencer Leigh & James Hazeldine

about this site

This site celebrates the powerful drama One Summer, about two troubled Liverpool lads who escape in pursuit of a distant idyllic memory of a school trip to Wales, and the reclusive Kidder who befriends them. 

Produced by Yorkshire television in 1983 to great acclaim, but also controversy, it had a huge impact on a generation of UK teens, and almost 40 years later is still seared into the memories of many of those that saw it. 

Written by influential Liverpudlian playwright Willy Russell, and starring newcomers David Morrissey and Spencer Leigh, the series developed a cult following, despite a major controversy leading to the series being virtually unseen following its original broadcast. After years of lobbying, the series was finally released in 2005 on DVD, and now in 2020 is available on Blu-ray.

This website is currently under construction, and the original version, which includes much more extensive information is still available at one-summer.tv83.net

dedication and thanks

Dedicated to the memory of James Hazeldine, and with enormous thanks to David Morrissey, Spencer Leigh and Keith Richardson for sharing their memories, memorabilia and continued support.

blu-ray release

Network who produced the excellent and long dreamt of DVD release in 2005, have announced a completely remastered HD Blu-ray, produced from the original film elements.  

Currently the Blu-ray can only be ordered directly for the neworkonair website.

In 2002 the original One Summer website was created, and over nearly 2 decade fans recorded their memories of the show

starring

as Billy Rizley

David Morrissey was born in 1963 in Liverpool. He was attended the local Everyman Youth Theatre when cast as Billy in One Summer, and he celebrated his 18th birthday during filming.

Following the success of One Summer, David was accepted into RADA, later acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre for four years. He has since had a highly successful career on stage and screen in the UK and internationally as both an actor and director.

as Icky Higson

A native of Liverpool, Spencer Leigh also attended the Everyman Youth Theatre and later studied full time at a Liverpool Drama college. He was 19 when cast as Icky.

He appeared in a range of film and TV in the 1980s, most notably many films by avant-garde director Derek Jarman, including Caravaggio, The Last of England, Aria and The Garden. His TV appearances included the premiere episode of Inspector Morse.

In 1991 Spencer Leigh moved to the United States where he has worked in advertising and directing.

as Kidder

Born 4th April 1947, James Hazeldine died on 17th Dec 2002, aged 55. He was rehearsing for his role as Sigmund Freud in a new stage play, The Talking Cure, at the time.

Best know for playing Bayleaf in the firefighting drama London's Burning, a role he played continuously for seven years from 1988 to 1995. His other TV appearences included the popular sci-fi series The Omega Factor, and Chocky. James Hazeldine was also an accomplished and successful stage actor.

The blog on the original website is a time capsule of the efforts to get One Summer re-released, finally realized in 2006.

created by

Screenwriter

Will Russell was born in 1947 in Whiston, Lancashire just outside Liverpool.

Willy Russell is one of Britain's most successful playwrights, and produced popular stage hits Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine, both of which have subsequently become successful feature films, and the hit West End musical Blood Brothers.

Amongst numerous early TV productions was Our Day Out (BBC 1979) about a Liverpool school group's ill-fated day trip to Wales. (Clearly an inspiration for the later One Summer). Russell had a varied career before becoming a successful playwright, starting out as a ladies hairdresser, and working for a time as a high school teacher.

Producer

Keith Richardson has had a lengthy career in television production, and is currently Controller of Drama for ITV Yorkshire.

He is notable for being Executive Producer of the station's primetime soap, Emmerdale. Richardson was in charge of the programme for 24 years, during which time he oversaw its transformation from a minor, daytime, rural drama into one of the UK's major soap operas. He left Emmerdale in January 2009.

He produced numerous other major series for YTV/ITV including Harry's Game (1982) and in the 90's was EP of Lynda La Plante's Trial & Retribution and Heartbeat amongst others.

Director

Gordon Flemyng was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1934, and died in 1995.

A director of numerous film and television productions, Gordon Flemyng started his directing career on the 1957 series The Army Game and in 1962 the British feature Solo for Sparrows.

Director of two Dr Who feature films Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966), he also directed for numerous popular TV series over four decades including The Avengers, The Saint, Lovejoy, Peak Practice, The Bill and Minder and the 1987 mini-series Wish Me Luck.

the reason one summer vanished

The first screening of One Summer in the UK was foreshadowed by considerable controversy.
Contemporary press reports detail how the screenwriter Willy Russell was deeply unhappy with aspects of the production and as a result his name was removed from the credits. Despite that, the series had an enormous impact on viewers.

For decades it was feared the series would never be released, with Granada Media stating that the program could not be sold or rescreened due to instructions from Willy Russell. However negotiations over 2004-2005 finally saw agreement reached to allow it to be seen again, much to the joy of fans.

Despite the extensive coverage at the time, it is still not completely clear what the exact disagreements were, though they clearly involved differences between Russell and the director Gordon Flemyng, on the casting and general style of the production. Read more below.

 

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