I watched this film the one and only occasion, that i am aware of, that it was shown on TV in good old blighty. It stars Lenny Henry as a dislikable drug dealer and addict who has only two interests in life. Firstly to make money and secondly to maintain his habit. Robbie Coltrane is excellent in support as the tough social worker who tries to get him clean and and leave his heroine related past behind. I have to admit it was strange seeing Lennie Henry a well known comedian in such a gritty role but he strangely revealed in it and as the plot developed his character began to become more and more human under his social workers help. Furthermore they a kind of friendship develops as they avoid certain scraps together. A good social study of early 90's Britain.
A TV series worth releasing as DVD
7 December 2013
I remember watching this on British TV many years ago. At the time I thought the choice of two comedy actors - Lenny Henry and Robbie Coltrane - seemed a little absurd. However, at the time nobody really realised how much talent the two of them had as "straighr" actors. It was a revelation when they were able to show their true abilities as actors. What can I say, Robbie went on to Cracker and Harry Potter, and Lenny went on to Hope and Glory. Both have shown that there is far more to their talent than comedy. I have endlessly searched for a possible DVD release of Alive and Kicking but as yet without any success. Please BBC, this series must be added to your list of quality productions and is a golden oldie which definitely deserves to be remembered and have a second life as a DVD.
6 February 2008
I was actually a special extra in this made for TV drama - I had a great time on the set and was assisting the director with the Football scenes ( setting up mock training sessions and matches ), which were actually shot at Hendon Football Club. I remember meeting Paul Barber on the set who is a fantastic character in real life and who enjoyed mixing with the minions. I also met a wonderful young actress who was bubbly and fun and had to bear her bosoms to all in the film ! This was the lovely Jane Horrocks , what a star. Anyway , I have no idea how many if any people read these things but it was a great and hard hitting Drama. I have since lost my Taped copy of the the film and was hoping that someone out in the ether could direct me as to where I might find a copy on Tape or preferably DVD - Cheers
Pre Cracker Robbie in a fine TV film
30 October 2006
I was fortunate enough to catch and record this when it was shown on TV and got to watch it several times in the company of approx 120 Year 11 pupils in post mock exam breathing space (at a time when Coursework was not condemned as cheating, and when pupils were encouraged to have opinions and express them!) This tough and discerning audience was impressed, too, by the quality of acting and writing. Coltrane's dismissive cruelty was tempered with real humanity for the addicted partner of Smudger and then for Henry's character. Henry was tough and convincing as the dealing Smudger and the opening rooftop chase of a rival was memorable TV. The messages were uncompromisingly clear but there was no preaching. Along with Coast to Coast, Alive and Kicking showed Lennie Henry's versatility, while Coltrane added a vicious humour that I hadn't noticed in his stand-up or Tutti Frutti or Danny Champion of the World. I am still chasing copies of Alive and Kicking and Coast to Coast