Boys from the Blackstuff: Season 1, Episode 4

Yosser's Story (31 Oct. 1982)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 27 users  
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After waking from a nightmare of drowning himself and his three children, Yosser visits the DoE where he is told he is entitled to draw more benefit... See full synopsis »



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Title: Yosser's Story (31 Oct 1982)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Warren ...
Timothy Bleasdale ...
Jason Hughes
Tamana Bleasdale ...
Anne Marie Hughes
Jamie Bleasdale ...
Dustin Hughes
Michael Angelis ...
Alan Igbon ...
Peter Kerrigan ...
James Ellis ...
Noreen Kershaw ...
Priest - Father Dan Thomas
Christopher Quinn ...
D.O.E. Clerk
Peter Christian ...
Terry Butler ...
School Attendance Officer
Ina Clough ...
Health Visitor


After waking from a nightmare of drowning himself and his three children, Yosser visits the DoE where he is told he is entitled to draw more benefit... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

31 October 1982 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although the lake sequence in Yosser's dream was scripted as being in Sefton Park, it was actually filmed at a lake on a private estate some 8 miles from Liverpool city center due to problems with water pollution and crowd control. See more »

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User Reviews

For Something That Contains So Many Great Qoutes It's Ironic ..
29 December 2014 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

.... That there's nothing left to say

Once in a while a television show you've no knowledge comes along and shocks you . I remember watching this on BBC 2 and not seeing any of the previous episodes I was under the impression I was going to be watching a period drama set in the midlands of 19th Century England . Blackstuff = Black Country . See my way of thinking ? From the opening of a man wading through a river clutching his children this isn't the case and an hour later I realised I'd been watching a brilliant but brutal black comedy that's every bit as disturbing as it is funny . It wasn't just me who was impressed with it because Yosser's line of " Gissa job " quickly became a national catchphrase . By accident rather than design it summed Thatcher's Britain . I even had a T-Shirt of the enraged Yosser's face smashing through a brick wall with the quote " GISSA JOB "

There's so many quotable lines and incidents that have entered television immortality that it's almost unfair to remember one particular line but one that did stick out was the ridiculous " Are you after my body " spoken by James Ellis drunken Scotsman which didn't go down very well with the readers of the Scottish rag The Daily Record who were outraged that television was playing up to the stereotype of drunken Scotsmen , especially one played by an Irishman ! I mean it's only on television you see drunken Scotsmen . interesting that after seeing this episode after a gap of many years I was struck that Ellis doesn't sound very Scottish and could very well be a Irish accent . That said The Daily Record did and still does have a rabid support of Glasgow Rangers so is probably using a whip to beat Irish Celts

One thing noticeable is just how disturbed Yosser comes across and one feels puzzled why the GP doesn't section under the mental health act , but I'm guessing that the point Bleasdale is making the worst evil in a democracy is indifference to the individual . It's a powerful piece of writing brought to vivid life by Bernard Hill in a powerhouse performance . Hill did of course get a second lease of life as the Captain of James Cameron's TITANIC and as King Thepden in LORD OF THE RINGS but Yosser is a role that became something of an albatross to the actor . That said Yosser is one of the greatest characters created for television

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