A typical soap with a hard edge. Produced by Julia Smith with story editor Tony Holland and who was story editor on the series ‘Couples’ that I made for Thames TV. Earlier still he was the writer when I directed ‘Magpie’. We got on very well so perhaps it was through Tony they called me.
‘Angels’ tackled issues such as contraception, alcoholism and promiscuity as part of the nurse’s lives. ‘Angels’received criticism for its unglamorous depiction of the nursing profession. Indeed with its sometimes hard-hitting portrayal of young nurses facing up to the demands of the profession ‘Angels’ was grittily authentic.
To this end each actress taking a part was required to work on a real hospital ward to gain experience and thus contribute to the realism of the series. Great to work on. Many giggles, just like real nurses.
We had a week’s filming in Glasgow. A completely different world to London. On a pedestrian bridge over river Clyde we were filming two actors talking and walking towards camera when the cameraman suddenly doubled up laughing. In the background between the two actors a large lady marched towards camera, stopped, saluted and lifted her sweater to flash two huge breasts. The policeman with us said “Oh Alice dear, could you go and do it somewhere else the boys are trying make a film. OK? She does that everywhere. What can we do? Poor love is a bit bonkers and arresting her would solve nothing and she does no harm anyway.”
When we finished he smiled “You look cold boys. I wee whisky would do you all good.” Indeed it had started snowing but as it was Sunday the Glasgow pubs were shut. “Follow me lads”. We walked to the nearest pub and indeed it was shut. He just slid the iron grill gate back and opened the door.. “Come on lads”. The place was packed full and heaving. “Right, the first one is on me lads”.
At the end of another day we were taking a taxi back to our hotel. The next day was a day off for the unit and we were debating what to do in Glasgow for the day when the taxi driver turned and said “Do you want to come salmon fishing with me? I could collect you at say 09.30. I go once week anyway so no charge.” Off we went salmon fishing for the day in a beautiful little valley with rocks and a big stream. I caught nothing but the others did. Fond memories of Glasgow.