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Thread: Carla Lane

  1. #1
    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Sep 2005

    Default Carla Lane

    Liverpool writer of well known TV sitcoms like 'Butterflies,' 'The Liver Birds' and 'I Woke Up One Morning'

  2. #2
    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Under The Stairs >> Under The Mud.
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    Television writer and animal lover Carla Lane has recently published her autobiography. We spoke to her about her classic shows like Bread, The

    Liver Birds, Butterflies and her early days at the BBC.

    Do you

    still consider Merseyside your home?

    Oh gosh, yes. It’s only because of what I do that I’m

    not there. It’s not just writing, it’s the animal sanctuary. I can hardly get away. Liverpool is my very favourite place. I love Liverpool and scousers. I

    think they probably felt I deserted them, but you know, your career takes you to weird places.

    Has that been said to you before?

    “Carla Lane writes about Liverpool but doesn’t live here..”

    "Liverpool was angry with me" >
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    Nobody has ever upset me by telling that to me, but I would guess that’s the feeling. But, the reason I wrote Bread was because of

    Liverpool, and also The Liver Birds. Out of the three major things I’ve done, two of them have been Liverpool. I have tried to prove my feeling toward it by

    doing that.

    So what sparked off the writing of your autobiography?

    "I wrote Bread was because of

    Liverpool, and also The Liver Birds. Out of the three major things I’ve done, two of them have been Liverpool."

    Mainly because the BBC is not doing the kind of comedy that I write anymore. We have reality

    now and there’s no room for my kind of comedy. I need to write and to work, and so someone put to me that I ought to write a book. A publisher phoned me

    finally and I thought ‘right, do it!’ I’m glad I did, I enjoyed doing it and I hope people like reading it.

    Why do you think the

    BBC aren’t doing what you do anymore?

    I don’t think they’re in touch with their audience,

    frankly. I get lovely letters about the comedy programmes that were on in those days. Dad’s Army, the lovely characters in that. It was moving as well as

    funny. I think people just sit back and take what they’re given, don’t they?

    It can’t be a lack of writers though,


    No, I would think there’s plenty of them around, but the point is, people just

    think ‘oh well, we don’t get that anymore.’ They don’t seem to make a fuss about it. It’s reality that’s taken over and frankly, I can’t bear


    Let’s take you back to your early days, you were a convent girl weren’t you?

    Yes. I wasn’t a good scholar and I left school quite early. I had taken to writing poetry and I was beginning to feel that

    words were the things that were going to take me further ahead. I started Liver Birds with a friend who couldn’t carry on. I was left jittering in a little

    bedsit in Paddington thinking ‘what am I going to do?’

    In the book you talk about being a young mum. You would put the kids to

    bed and you would get your pen out and start writing. That must have been quite hard.

    The Liver Birds

    Yes. I would do other things too. I used to go nursing three times a week as well. In those days kids went to bed a

    6 o’clock, so I used to write then. The Liver Birds happened sort of strangely, really. There was over 100 done in the end. It just became


    What was is like to see your name as writer for the first time on BBC 1?

    It was exhilarating, but it’s quite frightening too as it carries with it the burden of having to keep it up. I never really boasted about

    my name on the screen or jumped up and down for joy. I just had this inner satisfaction that what I was doing was right and that I could do it. As a child at

    school I was hopeless. The best they could say about me was that I had a sense of humour.

    What do you think of the new Liverpool

    that is forging ahead?

    I was there not long ago being interviewed at the top of the Liver

    Buildings and looking down. What a beautiful city it’s become. It was shining, it looked like a jewel.

    When you talk about the

    break up of your marriage in your book, people will think of Rhea in Butterflies. Was it similar to that?

    Yes, I went to the BBC and I said I want to write about a woman who is married and in love with someone else. I want to write about the

    problem. 'Can’t do that darling, not as comedy' they said. 'Write it as a drama'. I said 'I don’t want to.' So I went back to my home and wrote the

    first script. I sent it to them and 24 hours later a motorbike drew up outside to deliver a note that said ‘who am I to argue with a butterfly? 6 more please

    immediately.’ So that was nice. I enjoyed so much doing it.

    What was it like being a woman in that business?

    It was strange, there was no other woman writing comedy. It was odd, I did feel on my own. The old days

    of the BBC were lovely though. The corridors were alive. The head of comedy was always available.

    You make it sound like Grace


    (laughs). Yes, I met so many tremendously clever, famous people. I remember seeing

    Sir John Gielgud and saying ‘what do you do?’ He said ‘I act a little’. I’ve often thought back and thought ‘oh, what cheek’.

    Bread was an incredible success but it stuttered at the beginning didn’t it because of critics?

    Yes, terribly. Liverpool was angry with me.

    Liverpool was angry was because of the stereotype. It was the

    mid-80’s and there were problems in the city. Talk us through what happened..

    The thing

    they hated most was that they were going to the dole office to claim money. They said I made it look like everyone in Liverpool was doing that. Of course,

    that was not my intent, of course it wasn’t. I wanted to write a really funny story about a wonderful family and show the togetherness of how they stuck

    together like mad. It went very wrong in the beginning and I had to work very hard to win Liverpool’s heart over that.

    I found it the easiest thing in the world to write. I couldn’t sleep because the dialogue was going on in

    my head. We went to Rome and did a Christmas show there. They were happy days. We were so lucky with the cast. There was a lot of drama in


    I saw a young man walking down the street. He was tall and blonde and

    wearing leather. He had dignity and I thought ‘I’m going to write about you. Your name’s Joey now what else..’ Bit by bit I gave him a family. That was the

    birth of Bread.

    I often think, that young man will never know he was the cause

    of it.

    Carla it’s been a pleasure to talk to you. Put pen to paper again because we’d love to see some of your screenplays on

    television again.

    I will. Thank


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Kensington, Liverpool


    Writer honoured for animal welfare work
    Jul 4 2007
    by Alan Weston, Liverpool Daily Post

    LIVERPOOL scriptwriter Carla Lane has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to animal welfare with an award from the RSPCA.

    Ms Lane, famous for TV sitcoms such as The Liver Birds and Bread, was presented with the Richard Martin Award for her years of campaigning for improvements in animal welfare.

    She founded Animaline, a charity set up to “give animals a voice”, in 1987. Six years after its foundation, a sanctuary was also opened for the care and rehabilitation of injured and abused animals.

    Jackie Ballard, director general of the RSPCA, said: “Almost every kind of animal has passed through the Animaline gates and many have been returned to the wild after treatment.

    “On top of that, Carla has devoted a large part of her life to the campaign against live exports and has attended numerous rallies against the trade including last year’s demonstration at Dover attended by members of the RSPCA Council.

    “She has lobbied leading politicians and heads of government, chief vets and the European Union voicing her strong opposition to the trade. Carla has always proved beyond doubt that she really is a ‘voice for animals’.”

    Source: Liverpool Daily Post

  4. #4
    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Kensington, Liverpool


    Carla Lane

  5. #5
    Senior Member shoney's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Auckland New Zealand


    I worked for carla in 1988 , i helped to do her house up in london, it was a lovely place in "strand-on-the-green" in chiswick ( zoffany house ), i'd been sailing my brothers boat from liverpool marina to peel IOM and a mate of my brothers was in peel , and it was her son carl who offered me the work, we slept on the floors in the place while we were doing it up and got washed in the local swimming baths, ate rubbish and drank from monday till friday, then it was back up the motorway home for the weekends, she was a lovely lady, she had 2 irish wolf hounds that never left her side, her sister and brother in law were going to move in with her once the place was finished, one day she showed up with linda and stella mccartney, she was a very nice person

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