Play for Today: Season 8, Episode 14

The Spongers (24 Jan. 1978)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 9.0/10 from 32 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Add a Plot



0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 330 titles
created 15 Feb 2013
list image
a list of 22 titles
created 7 months ago
a list of 351 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Spongers" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Spongers (24 Jan 1978)

The Spongers (24 Jan 1978) on IMDb 9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Play for Today.
« Previous Episode | 171 of 307 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Christine Hargreaves ...
Peter Kerrigan ...
Paula McDonagh ...
Gary Todd ...
Grace Allen ...
Dawn Booth ...
Baby Dawn
Angela Catherall ...
Gertie Almond ...
Elaine Lindsay ...
Mrs. Johnson
Bernard Atha ...
Councillor Conway
Fred Pearson ...
Director of Social Services
Ina Clough ...
Deputy Director of Social Services
Donald Gee ...
Dr. Whitehead
Frances Cox ...
Supervisor at Home


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

24 January 1978 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bernard Atha, who plays Councilor Conway, was at the time of filming a Leeds City Councilor. He was later Lord Mayor of Leeds. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The true and proper spongers
18 May 2007 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

The Spongers is one of the triumphs and one of the shames of British television - triumphant because it succeeds in presenting the true state of social affairs in jubilee Britain, shameful because none of its frightening lessons have been learned by our society.

Jim Allen brilliantly demolishes the social consensus with his very simple conceit, comparing the British royal family to a poor single parent family in 70's Britain. And it is painful and harrowing to follow the fate of this family at the hands of social services against the background of nationalistic fervour created by the jubilee celebrations.

The ending is probably the most shocking event in television history, but was eclipsed at the time by tabloid uproar over the opening titles of the play, which (super)imposed a picture of the Royals beside the word Spongers. This controversy itself demonstrates Allen's concerns and serves to illuminate his lifetime themes and specifically the themes of this sadly almost forgotten play.

It appears British television no longer has a social remit and, though I hate to admit it, this play is probably partly responsible for that - it's just too powerful, too awkward, all too true. I hope someday it finds its way back into public consciousness.

Required viewing for every human person.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Looking for Play for Today episodes ian-stapleton-775-79089
Where to find copies of Play for today films eatfoeslikepacman
Brian Glover - Play for Today leighton_haywood
Alma Mater marty-124
Abigail's Party documentary BBC4 tonyhu
Help with the title of the one with the schoolboys please!! pinkywafer
Discuss The Spongers (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: