Press Release
©Yorkshire Television Enterprises

Synopsis from Yorkshire Television Enterprises 1983

This is the story of two Liverpool youths who go to the hills and valleys of Wales to enjoy a peaceful life.

They come from the Liverpool of today, a tough gritty, uncompromising city a long way from the magical days of the Beatles. For the teenagers, Billy and Icky, things are getting a little too close for comfort. Like brushes with the police, the spectre of unemployment and the attentions of rival gangs. However they don't find the calm idyllic life they expect. They have people like Kidder to contend with - a strange man, a loner who could very well change their lives.

Sharply observed and written with both sympathy and a sense of humour.

Two deprived, dead-end streetcorner kids try to rediscover an all-too-brief spell of happiness in Wales in Yorkshire Television's moving drama series One Summer.

The five part series, transmitted on Channel 4 from Sunday, August 7, tells how two hard-bitten youngsters are affected by the people, their surroundings and the attitudes they encounter.

One Summer is written by the author of the smash-hit play and film Educating Rita and successful stage shows like Blood Brothers and John Paul George Ringo and Bert. It features two unknown Liverpool boys, David Morrissey and Spencer Leigh, both making their first TV appearances, and actor James Hazeldine as the philosophical drop-out teacher Kidder whom they come across in Wales.

The series is produced by Keith Richardson, the man responsible for HTV's award winning production of Harry's Game.

Billy Rizley (David Morrissey), together with his tag-along mate Icky Higson (Spencer Leigh), has a past - petty crime, truancy and vandalism - but no future. The two boys are in the final term at a tired school, long ago beaten into submission by it's inmates, but Billy and Icky haven't smelt the chalk dust and stale cabbage for many months. Instead, they prefer to kill useless days on Liverpool's tin-strewn wastelands, dragging on stolen fags.

Billy and Icky may not be able to add up or spell and they may believe that Margaret Thatcher is the Queen's sister, but they can kick a member of the Swanjack gang in the crotch with terrifying speed and accuracy, mug a drunk or lift a packet of fags from the corner shop.

With a neurotic, bingo -addicted mother, a slut of a sister, and no father, Billy needs to be hard and tough to survive in the only environment he knows. But Billy glimpsed, and can't forget, the faint picture of another world, a world of green grass trees, real flowers and mountains, on a never to be forgotten school camping holiday in Wales.

  It's great. There's tents. An when the fire's goin' an they're cookin' sausages an' soup an' that, it's knockout. When we had to leave I was cryin' y'know. Bloody cryin'. It's the only time I've ever cried in my life.

Desperate to relive that happiness, Billy even returns to school to put his name down for this summer's trip. But the answer is 'no'. As form teacher Frampton points out in no uncertain terms, the world doesn't owe Billy Rizley a living.

Billy was previously allowed to camp because he was young enough to evoke people's sympathy,. "You're not a kid anymore Rizley. There's been too much trouble, too many lies, too much cheating and robbery."

Billy later tells Icky his decision.


- I'm goin' to Wales. What would your mam say if y' just disappeared?
- There's ten of us. It's be three months before she realised I was missin'

And so, armed with thirty stolen pounds in his pocket, Billy arrives at Lime Street Station with Icky, half a dozen Yorkies, a dozen Mars bars and a couple of girlie magazines, and buys two tickets to his imaginary dream world.

One Summer is a moving five part drama series beautifully filmed by Peter Jackson and directed by Gordon Flemyng.


One summer site