Tinsel Town

BBC Two (ended 2002)


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Tinsel Town

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Tinsel Town was a low-budget, but nevertheless hard-hitting drama about a group of young adults who live for the the high-octane club world in Glasgow. Made by Raindog Television, the 45 minute programme was unique in that it was one of the first UK drama serials made specifically to be Broadcast on Digital-only channel BBC Choice (which is now called BBC 3). It eventually made onto terrestrial TV on BBC 2 the following month.

The first series launched quietly in August 2000 and focused mainly on Mathew Brady (Stephen Duffy) and Paul Coutts (Stuart Sinclar-Blyth), who are both hardcore drug-dealers in Tinsel Town. Coutt's girlfriend Teresa (Dawn Steele) also provided fireworks by sleeping with Brady behind his back! Also in lead roles, and providing comedy to proceedings were Sandra Taylor (Mandy Mathews) and Jack Donnelly (Paul Hicky) who befriend the mysterious and troubled Tinsel Town DJ Lex (Kate Dickie) who was being physically and mentally abused by her vile ex-husband. Sandra's 17 year old brother Ryan (David Paisley) added a more controversial aspect to the programme by starting an underage affair with an older man - Lewis Reid (Stevie Allen) - who also just happened to be a Policeman!

A good response to Series 1 prompted a second series. However, many changes were made to Series 2. These included shorter airtime to 30 minutes, the loss of the two lead characters and the move of the nightclub to another venue. More focus was given on the club as Lex helped its transvestite owner Stella (Jim Twaddle) battle his addiction for Ecstasy and Teresa also started working there. The turmoil of Ryan and Lewis was also explored in more detail. Sandra and Jack became the new lead-characters and they eventually fell in love as the series comes to a close.

Series 2 launched first on BBC Choice in 2001 and was eventually repeated on BBC 2 in early 2002. Despite developing a niche, cult audience, the BBC didn't commission a third season and sadly, 'Tinsel Town' came to an end leaving several loose-ends never to be tied!moreless