Michael Wearing, who has died aged 78, was a television producer and executive behind some of the most socially and politically charged dramas of the late 20th century. He successfully steered the medium through a period when single plays were dropped in favour of series. It was his work as script editor on The Black Stuff, the writer Alan Bleasdale’s 1980 Play for Today, that led him two years later to produce the landmark five-part drama Boys from the Blackstuff, which became a battle cry for the unemployed in Thatcher’s Britain after their numbers soared to more than three million. Bernard Hill’s cry of “Gissa job” in his role as Yosser Hughes became a national catchphrase.
However, Wearing continued to use the single-play format by presenting each episode as the story of