The song 'For a Friend', which is heard playing over the end credits was actually written for the real life Mark Ashton. It was written and performed by The Communards, whose members Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles were both friends of Mark.
Although Mark's political affiliation was not mentioned in the film possibly to avoid alienating viewers, a communist flag can be seen hanging from his apartment wall in the opening sequence. In the movie, he can be seen wearing red star pins on his jacket lapels, and he also gets "commie" shouted at him when going on a stage at a gay bar.
There are cameo appearances of the real people some of the characters are based on in the Westminster Bridge scene. Reggie Blennerhassett and Ray Aller (played by Chris Overton and Joshua Hill), Gethin Roberts (played by Andrew Scott), Gethin's Mum (played by Olwen Medi), Mike Jackson (played by Joseph Gilgun) and Ray Goodspeed (not directly portrayed in the movie but a leading light in LGSM).
At the time of the film's release the final remaining coal mines in the UK were closing. It is no longer acceptable to burn coal due to the 2008 Climate Change Act. The UK's last deep coal mine at Kellingley in Yorkshire closed in December 2015.
The UK government had already decided to close the coal mines long before the 1984 strike, as the industry was no longer considered profitable. Many believe the strike was only fighting against the inevitable. Almost twice as many coal mines had closed under Harold Wilson (1964-70, 1974-76) than under Margaret Thatcher. However, job losses were far greater under the Thatcher government. 43 per cent of mining jobs were lost in the 1960s under Wilson while 80 per cent were lost under Thatcher. Also, as the trend rate of economic growth was lower under Thatcher than Wilson (just 2.8 per cent compared to 3.4 per cent) and unemployment was considerably higher throughout the 1980s than the 1960s, redundant miners had fewer alternative job options.
The coal miner's strike that began in March 1984 was regarded as illegal in England and Wales, as no national ballot was taken. (A ballot by the Scottish NUM meant that the strike was legal in Scotland.)