The Preston Front Page


Preston Front was a BBC show which ran for three series between 1994 and 1997. It told the story of a group of young people who are members of the Territorial Army, or TA, in a fictional town in the north of England called Roker Bridge. The TA is part of Britain's reserve arm forces, and is made up of people who balance their normal jobs with training as soldiers.

Although the show really is about a group of people, the main character is Hodge, a young man coming to terms to the return to his life of the daughter resulting from a youthful affair with an older woman. Eric is his best friend since childhood, a likeable loser initially unsure of his place in the world. They are joined by intellectual Spock, juvenile Lloydy and practical Diesel, amongst others.

The show falls into the uneasy genre, comedy drama. However, it managed to successfully balance both aspects. The humour arises from the characters, acknowledging that people can actually say funny things without telling jokes. This even applies to minor characters, who although only appearing in one scene are given something interesting to say and do.

The success of the show owes much to the writing. Preston Front was created by Tim Firth, who also wrote every episode. However, Firth's clever and humourous writing was successfully brought to life by an ensemble cast consisting largely of young actors who were not particularly well know before the series.

This site is a completely unofficial tribute to Preston Front. It has no connections with Tim Firth or the BBC. It has been created by a fan simply as a tribute to one of the best British shows for years. The site contains a detailed episode guide, as well as information on Tim Firth and the cast, as well as the characters they created.

Most of the information on the site is taken from the programme itself. In addition, I have used material arising from features various publications, mainly the Radio Times. However, any additional information or insights would be gratefully received.

Many thanks to Guy Hawley for lots of information and suggestions, particularly the photographs and most of the information on locations. Thanks also to Chris Armstrong, John Hilson, Mike Murphy, Phil Ryding, Paul Smout and Greg Taylor.

Compiled by Matthew Newton

More on Preston Front at Newton's Laws Of Television 

Copyright MJ Newton 2003. All rights reserved.
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