Eugene Ruane isn’t fooled by the stereotypes in C4’s latest Liverpudlian drama

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


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