The Pickwick Papers

Pickwick Papers, Neil Wigley












Photo by Neil Wigley, no reproduction without permission.

The Pickwick Papers was a twelve part BBC London drama serial, hosted at Pebble Mill, and transmitted in 1985. The interiors would have been recorded in Studio A.

The series featured Ray Brooks, Nigel Stock, Clive Swift, Jeremy Nicholas, Alan Parnaby and Phil Daniels (shown here, whispering).

The director was Brian Lighthill, Bob Chaplin was lighting director, Myles Lang the designer, Sue Peck the costume designer, and Gill Hughes the make-up designer.

Thanks to the BBC Drama Village for sharing the photo.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page:

Ray Holman: ‘This was my very first job at Pebble Mill. I was a dresser in the costume department through the filming and then all the studio days, I looked after Phil Daniels, pictured here.’

Patricia Hodge Robinson: ‘Ditto, Ray! I helped to dress the female extras on studio days or Supporting Artistes as they were called then. My first telly job too!’




Pickwick Papers – Nick Stevens

Pickwick Papers 1 NS Pickwick Papers 2 NS Pickwick Papers 3 NS Pickwick Papers 4 NS Pickwick Papers 5 NS Pickwick Papers 6 NS Pickwick Papers 7 NS







































































(Last photo: Phil Daniels and Nick Stevens)

(Second photo: Dee Hall and Nick Stevens, Dee was the second wife of Terry Hall of Lenny the lion fame )

Copyright resides with the original holders, no reproduction without permission.

I worked a lot for the BBC as a support artist on many dramas in the 1980s and on one occasion did in fact get some photos, this was on the production of Pickwick Papers in 1985. We spent two days in London for rehearsals then back to Pebble Mill for the production. Phil Daniels was a pleasure to work with and so was the late Nigel Stock. There was a scene when the lady with a baby was meant to fall down in the Fleet prison this she did with her real baby, to the shock of the crew. The baby was substituted for a dummy, then cut back to the real baby after she fell. Also I nearly got knocked out by the camera crane! I was walking down a passage in the Fleet prison and the camera mounted on a crane was supposed to come up and follow me. The camera was at a high point as it came up behind me and was dropping to a lower position, but the brakeman on the camera dolly did not judge it correctly and the front of the dolly platform under the camera hit me on the back of the head and shoulders sending me sprawling up the set! It looked funny, but not for me. At the end of each day I travelled back to Burton upon Trent still, with makeup on and looking like a vagrant, if I had been stopped the police would not have believed me as to where I had been!

Nick Stevens

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook group:

Stuart Gandy: ‘I remember this from 1985, one of the many period dramas that Pebble Mill was well known for.’

Come to Mecca – Janice Rider

Photos by Janice Rider, no reproduction without permission.

‘Come to Mecca’ was transmitted on 2 Dec 1983.  It was produced by Peter Ansorge at Pebble Mill, and directed by John McGrath.  It was written by  the Anglo-Indian writer, Farrukh Dhondy.

The story involves Shahid, who is delighted when Betty asks him to go to a meeting at her house.  It is about the crossover and misunderstandings between different cultures.

The play stars, Sharman Macdonald (Betty), Dinesh Shukla, Nick Stringer, Moti Makan, Paul Anil, along with Zia Mohyeddin and Phil Daniels.

Janice Rider worked in the costume department, and took these polaroids for continuity reasons, so that the actors’ costumes matched from scene to scene and shoot to shoot.