Not a comedy series despite its punny title, the British weekly Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll was set in the Manchester community of Eccles in 1965. Gillian Kearney and Emma Cooke starred as non-identical 18-year-old twins Ellie and Arden, who, for most of their lives had been carefully and strictly raised by their humorless (and curiously bitter) Grandmother Irma (Sue Johnston). Gran's hard work proved to be for naught when Ellie and Arden lost their hearts to the Ice Cubes, an ambitious rock music trio. Along the way, the viewers discovered the real, deep-lying reason that Grandmother Irma was so dead-set against the Ice Cubes' intrusion in the girls' lives. The villain of the piece was a bloke named Norman (David Threlfall), who, to use the Dickensian expression, could make the flesh creep. Produced by Wall to Wall Productions for BBC1, the six 50-minute episodes of Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll originally aired from September 5 to October 10, 1999. Viewers outside the United Kingdom were treated to the series courtesy of the BBC America cable channel.
Harold "Kim" Philby, Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, and Donald Maclean were four bright, intelligent, and ambitious young men who attended Cambridge University in the early '30s. They all seemed to have promising futures ahead of them and, indeed, all four distinguished themselves in their careers. Burgess and Maclean became respected diplomats, Philby rose to be a senior officer in British intelligence, and Blunt was a well-known art historian. But the four men shared a secret -- certain that Great Britain would fall during the Second World War, and equally convinced that Russia held the world's best and only hope of defeating the Nazi juggernaut, the students became secret agents for the KGB, the Soviet Union's intelligence force, and the former schoolmates worked together as agents for the U.S.S.R. well into the height of the Cold War -- until they were discovered in 1963. Cambridge Spies is a made-for-TV drama produced by the BBC which dramatizes the true story of these unlikely secret agents, exploring how they worked together, and what finally brought their secret lives into the spotlight. It stars Samuel West as Blunt, Toby Stephens as Philby, Tom Hollander as Burgess, and Rupert Penry-Jones as Maclean.