Eugene Ruane isn’t fooled by the stereotypes in C4’s latest Liverpudlian
Having watched a couple of episodes of Channel 4’s Liverpool-based drama
series, And the Beat Goes on, I’ve decided to write my own drama series
- also based in Liverpool.
My story concerns the Van Himst family. They’re Calvinists and part of
the very small scouse-Dutch community. The father is a leading
philosopher and the mother is Britain’s top female steeplejack. Their
only son, Ruud, although ten years old, has never uttered a word. They
live in a solar-powered house of the future and have absolutely no
I realise that most of the country will be baffled by my idea, but I
reckon it will be thoroughly enjoyed by Liverpool’s Irish-Catholic
community (my own family included). Just think, for the first time, they
will be able to watch a Liverpool-based drama without having to wince at
awful stereotypes of themselves.
No rosary beads, confession or drunken priests. No do-it-your-self
abortions. No wisecracking, old-beyond-their-years children shouting,
‘Ar-ay mam’ and ‘come-ed, Micky’ - real philosophy instead of the
‘noble’ homespun bollocks (usually spouted by the mother). And best of
all ‘that street’ that all Liverpool dramas are filmed in - which is
just about the only one left in Liverpool that looks like that - won’t
be in it.
If you watched And the Beat goes on, you’ll have guessed by now that I
didn’t enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s awful. John
McCardle is excellent. The sets and music are good. The posh Spencer
family are fine. But the O’Rourkes? Sorry, I just can’t watch another
Liverpool drama with one of ‘those’ families.
What I will say about the writer, Joe Ainsworth, is that he knows how to
flog a script. Episode one, scene one: open on a young man in bed having
a wank. Brilliant!
Eugene Ruane, a group head at Saatchi and Saatchi, comes from Liverpool