Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Up Jimmy's Street

Guild member Jimmy McGovern interviewed by Carol Midgely in The Times ahead of his new TV series, The Street, which starts on Thursday.
Jimmy McGovern suggests meeting in The Grapes, a working man’s pub near his home in Liverpool that has an abundance of fruit machines and the TV racing on at full volume. I had expected him to pick his local, another traditional pub called the White Horse, but it turns out that it’s non-smoking now, so that is that.

“Smoking and drinking are the tools of the trade,” he says slightly ruefully, lighting up a fag. “Do you want another glass of lager?” Human weakness in the face of temptation is, of course, McGovern’s stock-in-trade. Alcoholism, gambling addiction, adultery, rape and, ultimately, guilt and death are the engines that have driven his dramas from Cracker to The Lakes. Other writers use these themes, naturally, but nobody does it quite like the Master. McGovern is renowned for having zero squeamishness around ugly subjects.

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