"Spend, Spend, Spend" is the 12th episode of seventh season of the British BBC anthology TV series Play for Today. The episode was a television play that was originally broadcast on 15 March 1977.[1] "Spend, Spend, Spend" was written by Jack Rosenthal, directed by John Goldschmidt, produced by Graeme McDonald, and starred Susan Littler and John Duttine.

"Spend, Spend, Spend"
Play for Today episode
Episode no.Series 7
Episode 12
Directed byJohn Goldschmidt
Written byJack Rosenthal
Produced byGraeme McDonald
Original air date15 March 1977 (1977-03-15)
Episode chronology
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"Do As I Say"
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"A Photograph"

"Spend, Spend, Spend" is based on the book of the same name by Nicholson and Stephen Smith and recounts Nicholson's life story from the 1950s to the early 1970s in a non-linear fashion.



Rosenthal was a colleague of the PR man who, on behalf of Littlewoods Pools, persuaded Viv Nicholson to allow publicity for her pools win. He wrote in his autobiography: "From that day on, I followed her wild, seemingly stupid adventures in the papers - and believed every snide, snooty, biased word the relentless publicity said. All adding up to one word - that she was a cow."[2] Being given Nicholson's book by director John Goldschmidt caused Rosenthal to reassess his attitude and "become a fan"[2] eager to put across an explanation of her behaviour.

Critical response


The production won the British Academy Television Awards for Best Single Play and Royal Television Society's Writer's Award 1977.[3]

Home media


The work was released on DVD as part of Jack Rosenthal at the BBC by Acorn media in 2011, alongside other works for television written by Rosenthal.[4][5]


  1. ^ Brooke, Michael (2003–14). "'Spend Spend Spend' (1977)". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b Rosenthal, Jack (2006). By Jack Rosenthal: An Autobiography in Six Acts. London: Robson. p. 228.
  3. ^ "TV Greats - Jack Rosenthal 1931-2004". Television Heaven. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012.
  4. ^ Pulver, Andrew (25 March 2011). "Your next box set: Jack Rosenthal at the BBC". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Jack Rosenthal at the BBC". British Universities Film & Video Council. Retrieved 7 July 2020.