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Fresh Meadows and Terrifying Skies

Thatcher? Pac Man? The casual trackwear of Sergio Tacchini? Whatever the 1980s mean to you, it’s a decade examined by some big names on C4 this week. Both Shane Meadows and Alan Davies look back on their formative years.

Meadows has reunited the cast of his award-winning film drama about skinhead subculture in recession-hit Britain for This Is England ’86.

Acclaimed child star of the original, Thomas Turgoose, returns to play Shaun, who is just leaving school, and still hanging out with Woody, Lol, Smell, Gadget and Milky.

Building on a set-up that won Best British Film at the 2008 Baftas, the director has collaborated with James Horne to create the four-part series. And it’s far from the first time that Channel 4 has coughed-up for this talented young writer, who has written for Shameless, Skins, and Cast Offs, and whose screenplay The Scouting Book for Boys was made with backing from Film4.

Talking of Film4, a season of films from Shane Meadows is just about to start.

Also preoccupied with the 1980s is comedian and actor Alan Davies, whose Teenage Revolution starts on Thursday night at 9pm.

With his Essex upbringing – and the heroes that inspired him – as a starting point, Davies tackles some of the issues that made the decade one of major change. Racism, sexism, Thatcherism… I could go on, but it was a long time ago, and my memory is not what it once might have been…

Meanwhile, another child of the 80s is looking for a hero, but Derren Brown’s must have a head for heights. His latest special is Hero at 30,000 Feet, and will undoubtedly be the high-point of Wednesday night’s viewing.

Bear in mind that Derren can always transport you back in time to watch some of his magical back catalogue.


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