Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Ken Loach: Up the Junction by Gemma Starkey
Introduction The Wednesday Play Up the Junction From studio to street Controversy Legacy
"When The Wednesday Play was being made it was the high point of the excitement of television, because it was a new medium.... Most people had got the television by this stage, so if you did something that had some effect, half the country would watch it."
  - Ken Loach, director, 'Up the Junction'

Known for his politically uncompromising and challenging films, Ken Loach has been one of the UK's most prolific and influential film and television directors for nearly 50 years. In this tour, we take you back to the 'swinging' 1960s, when Loach was at the beginning of his career, working for the BBC and developing his working methods on the television 'play'.

By exploring his groundbreaking drama 'Up the Junction' (1965), one of ten he made for the BBC's Wednesday Play strand (1964-70), we show how Loach helped change the face of television drama by pushing the boundaries of accepted taste, style, production methods and subject matter. We talk to those who worked on the play about their experiences, and to television experts and commentators who provide their own perspectives. These films offer not only a unique insight into an exciting moment in television history but also a glimpse at a fascinating era of 20th century Britain.

This tour has been designed for students to explore independently as well as for use in the KS4/5 classroom. Follow the education links at the side of each page to see how you can start applying some of the material highlighted in each section.

Find your way around the tour using the tabs above.

We're sorry that, for copyright reasons, the video material in this tour is available only to registered users in UK schools, colleges, universities and public libraries. Follow the links to the 'Featured Video' in the right panel of each page to start watching. Non-registered users may like know that the exclusive short films in our Ken Loach: Sweet Sixteen tour are available to all.

Next Page >

Ken Loach on location