Tony Garnett, producer of Cathy Come Home, is a keynote speaker at With Banners Held High, Unity+Works, Wakefield, on Saturday 5 March.
It is fifty years since the play was broadcast on the BBC. It was watched by 12 million people – a quarter of the British population at the time. Its hard-hitting subject matter and highly realistic documentary style, new to British television, created a huge impact.
Tony Garnett is also well known for his mining films – Kes, and the two-part Play for Today, The Price of Coal. His memoir is coming out in June and it has the inside story of all the mining films he worked on plus an account of the BBC’s claim for ‘balance’ and his fight against their attempts to block the political plays like the four-part Days of Hope, which he worked on with playwright Jim Allen and director Ken Loach.
‘Seeing Red,’ a British Film Institute retrospective in 2013, celebrated the work of the veteran film and television producer. The BFI described Garnett as one of television’s ‘most influential figures,’ who ‘produced and fostered a succession of provocative, radical and sometimes incendiary dramas.’
He is an ideal speaker for With Banners Held High, a day-long event remembering the end of the coal mining industry with the closure of Kellingley Colliery in December 2015. There is a packed programme of exhibitions, music, film, poetry and debates, compered by writer and broadcaster Ian Clayton.
One focal point will be the inspiring but largely unknown story of the incredible international support for the 1984-85 miners’ strike, with speakers from France and Denmark. The other focus is on the support musicians gave to the strike, with an exhibition and debates.
A new book, Pit Props: Music, International Solidarity and the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike, edited by Granville Williams, will be launched on the day. Contributors include former BBC Labour Correspondent, Nick Jones, Paul Routledge and Ian Clayton.
The finale to the day event will be the stunning Test Department film, DS30, which features the South Wales Striking Miners’ Choir.
The evening fundraising event, compered by Attila the Stockbroker, has the Liverpool band, The Farm, best known for their hit All Together Now, with support from The Hurriers and Joe Solo.
Tickets for the day and evening events available from: http:
//www. unityworks. co. uk/event/with-banners-held-hig h-2016/