1986 | United Kingdom

Set and filmed around the Isle of Dogs in the East End of London, Prospects followed the misadventures of two 'likely lads', Jimmy Pince (Gary Olsen) and Billy Pearson (Brian Bovell). 

This gritty comedy drama was set during the grim high unemployment days of Thatcher's Britain in the mid eighties and the two friends were continually duckin' and divin' as they struggled to survive on their 'social' (unemployment benefit) and the odd 'fast earner' from any dodgy employer willing to pay 'cash-in-hand.' 

The series didn't shy away from social issues such as unemployment and racism but always maintained its humour throughout with sharply written scripts and great chemistry between the two leads. No matter what schemes they came up with Pincy and Billy always seemed to lose out - ending up with little or no future prospects. Writer Alan Janes penned all 12 episodes and the series was made as a joint venture by Thames and Channel 4. 

Prospects was an instant hit with the viewing public and a second series was planned in which the boys were to go and work for a mini-cab company owned by 'Del' (Mike Savage) the cafe owner and mentor of the two lads. It is unclear why it was never made although there were rumours that both Thames and C4 were at loggerheads over ownership of the series and there may have been some dispute over script ownership too, although this has never been confirmed. 

Ray Dorset of Mungo Jerry fame, sang the show's theme song although it has been said that Roger Daltrey of The Who was originally going to sing the it, but the producers were so impressed with Ray's demo version that he got the job.

Published on January 21st, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.