Compact (TV series)

Last updated

"Compact" (TV series).jpg
Genre Drama
Created by Hazel Adair
Peter Ling
StarringFrances Bennett
Robert Desmond
Vincent Ball
Beryl Cooke
Ronald Allen
Moray Watson
Naomi Chance
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes373
Running time30 minutes
Original network BBC1
Original release2 January 1962 (1962-01-02) 
30 July 1965 (1965-07-30)

Compact was a British television soap opera [ citation needed ] shown by the BBC [ citation needed ] from 1962 to 1965 [ citation needed ]. The series was created by Hazel Adair and Peter Ling [ citation needed ] who together subsequently devised Crossroads . In contrast to the kitchen sink realism of Coronation Street , Compact was a distinctly middle-class serial, set in the more "sophisticated" arena of magazine publishing. An early "avarice" soap,[ citation needed ] it took the viewer into the business workplace, and aligned the professional lives of the characters with more personal storylines. The show was scheduled for broadcast on Tuesdays and Thursdays, thus avoiding a clash with ITV's Coronation Street on Mondays and Wednesdays. [1]



When Compact began, the editor was female, Joanne Minster (Jean Harvey), yet it was not long before she was replaced by Ian Harmon (Ronald Allen), the son of the magazine's owner.

Despite being largely criticised by reviewers, Compact was popular with the general public, and in 1964 a regular omnibus edition was introduced, broadcast on Sundays. [1] Morris Barry, a some-time actor and BBC director – he directed several Doctor Who stories in the 1960s – took over as producer and was given a brief to spice the series up in view of the criticism it had received from the national press.[ citation needed ] But the BBC, not then comfortable with the concept of soap opera, quietly dropped the series in 1965. [1]


When the series ended, the cast members appeared in other popular programmes, Ronald Allen was a regular in the soap opera Crossroads between 1969 and 1985. Australian actor Vincent Ball also featured in Crossroads. Marcia Ashton, who played Lily, appeared in soap opera Brookside many years later. Carmen Silvera played the role of Madame Edith Artois in the sitcom 'Allo 'Allo from 1982 to 1992. The director David Giles had a distinguished television career.

Only a handful of episodes exist in the BBC archive, four out of the original run of 373. (See Wiping.)

Related Research Articles

A soap opera is a radio or television serial dealing especially with domestic situations and frequently characterized by melodrama, ensemble casts, and sentimentality. The term "soap opera" originated from radio dramas originally being sponsored by soap manufacturers.

A British sitcom or a Britcom is a situation comedy programme produced for British television. Although styles of sitcom have changed over the years they tend to be based on a family, workplace or other institution, where the same group of contrasting characters is brought together in each episode. British sitcoms are typically produced in one or more series of six episodes. Most such series are conceived and developed by one or two writers.

Jack Rosenthal

Jack Morris Rosenthal was an English playwright who wrote 129 early episodes of the ITV soap opera Coronation Street and over 150 screenplays, including original TV plays, feature films, and adaptations. A street in Manchester is named after him, appropriately next to a centre of contemporary art, theatre and film that opened in 2015, HOME.

<i>Crossroads</i> (British TV series)

Crossroads is a British television soap opera that ran on ITV over two periods – the original 1964 to 1988 run, followed by a short revival from 2001 to 2003. Set in a fictional motel in the Midlands, Crossroads became a byword for cheap production values, particularly in the 1970s and early 1980s. Despite this, the series regularly attracted huge audiences during this time, with ratings as high as 15 million viewers.

Jesse Birdsall is an English actor, known for his role as Marcus Tandy in the BBC1 soap opera Eldorado, his role in the adventure series Bugs (1995–1999) as Nick Beckett, his role in Footballers' Wives as football manager, Roger Webb between 2004 and 2006, and his roles as Fraser Black in Hollyoaks and as villain Ron Gregory in a few episodes of The Bill.

<i>The Grove Family</i>

The Grove Family was a British television series soap opera, generally regarded as the first of its kind broadcast in the UK, made and broadcast by the BBC Television Service from 1954 to 1957. The series concerned the life of the family of the title, who were named after the BBC's Lime Grove Studios where the programme was made.

Frederick Feast was a British television actor, best remembered for playing the role of Fred Gee in Coronation Street.

Nikki Sanderson British actress

Nikki Ann Sanderson is an English actress and former glamour model who is known for playing Candice Stowe in the television soap opera Coronation Street, Dawn Bellamy in Heartbeat and Maxine Minniver in Hollyoaks. During her time at Coronation Street and since, she has also been a glamour model and television presenter on programmes such as CD:UK, Junior Eurovision and Ministry of Mayhem.

John Ernest Briggs was an English actor. He was known for his role as Mike Baldwin in the soap opera Coronation Street, in which he appeared from 1976 to 2006.

Raymond Michael Brooks is an English television and film actor.

Reginald Marsh (actor) English actor

Reginald Albert Saltmarsh, known by the stage name Reginald Marsh, was an English actor who is best remembered for supporting roles in many British sitcoms from the 1970s onwards.

Barbara Assoon was a Trinidad and Tobago actress, journalist, and broadcaster.

Duggie Brown is an English comedian and actor. He is the brother of actress and singer Lynne Perrie.

Josephine Caroline Gertrude Mary Faith Harber, better known as Lynne Carol, was a Welsh born actress, primarily in TV series and telemovies, she was best known for playing busybody Martha Longhurst in the soap opera Coronation Street from the second episode in 1960 until the character was killed off in 1964.

Haldane Duncan was a Scottish television producer and director, best known for his contributions to soap operas.

This is a list of British television related events from 1966.

Hazel Joyce Marriott, née Willett, known professionally as Hazel Adair, was a British actress turned screenwriter and creator of soap operas for radio and television. She is best known for co-creating Crossroads with Peter Ling.

Katherine Parr is a British actress, best known for playing the recurring role of Irene Holloway, commonly known as Auntie Irene, in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, between 1986 and 1987, when her character was killed off.

Kate Oates is a British television producer, who was born in Nottingham and graduated from Warwick University. She began her career working as a researcher and editorial assistant for Germaine Greer, before becoming a script editor for the soap opera Crossroads. In 2003, she joined the radio soap The Archers as a producer, a position which Oates credits as the majority of her training. After resigning from this job, Oates began working on the ITV soap opera Emmerdale as a script editor, during which time she assisted with the soap's fortieth anniversary celebrations and worked on British Soap Award-winning storylines. She remained in the position until 2012 when she joined Coronation Street as the assistant producer.

Jon Rollason was an English television actor. He is best remembered for the role of Dr. Martin King in The Avengers. He also appeared in episodes of Doctor Who, Z-Cars, Coronation Street, Crossroads in 1973 and Softly, Softly. He also wrote the scripts for episodes of the soap opera Crossroads.


  1. 1 2 3 Clark, Anthony (2003–14), Compact (1962–65), BFI Screenonline, retrieved 2 January 2012