Play for Today: Season 7, Episode 12

Spend Spend Spend (15 Mar. 1977)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 41 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Autobiographical tale about Viv Nicholson who had a large Football Pools win in the early 1960s, and the ultimately destructive effect it had on her and her family.


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Title: Spend Spend Spend (15 Mar 1977)

Spend Spend Spend (15 Mar 1977) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Littler ...
Vivian Nicholson
John Duttine ...
Keith Nicholson
Helene Palmer ...
Vivian's Mother (as Helen Beck)
Joe Belcher ...
Vivian's Father
Stephen Bill ...
Liz Smith ...
Keith's Granny
Annie Hulley ...
Philip Joseph ...
John Lyons ...
Public Relations Man
Jane Lowe ...
Public Relations Girl
Peter Mayock ...
First Reporter
Andy Bradford ...
Second Reporter (as Andrew Bradford)
Jack Platts ...
Taxi Driver
Fred Gaunt ...
Joan Peters ...
First Woman


Autobiographical tale about Viv Nicholson who had a large Football Pools win in the early 1960s, and the ultimately destructive effect it had on her and her family.

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Release Date:

15 March 1977 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vivian Nicholson: [voiceover] I was born in 1936 in Castleford, Yorkshire. You'll find it on the map - I'm the bugger that put it there. Where we lived, all the fellers were coal-miners. Except me dad - he was a full-time, fully-paid-up, fully-fledged bastard.
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User Reviews

slice of life
7 March 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When Keith and Viv Nicholson won the pools, she declared that she would take the money and 'spend, spend, spend!'. That's where the inspiration for this clever play from Jack Rosenthal comes from - it stars Susan Littler as Viv, John Duttine as Keith, Helen Beck as Viv's mother, and Liz Smith as Keith's granny.

The setting is Northern England, the characters are slightly stereotypic - Viv is flirty and flighty, Keith is quiet and withdrawn, Viv's parents are in an abusive marriage where traditional dad takes all the family money for beer, Keith's granny is a seething matriarch. Winning the pools, too, is very of its time - no headline would pursue the winners of a few thousand when millions can be had in these days of lottery windfalls.

Still, the play is well-acted, by the much-missed Littler in particular, even if works now more as a historical document than a relevant slice of life. One of the best remembered plays in the Play for Today strand, and rightly so.

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