Back when it was called …
The show was originally going to be called Antony & Cleopatra. Go to this Post to read background information and updates during the early days before the show was renamed Last Tango in Halifax.
How we found out about the name change for the show
We have been sitting on this information for some time now, hoping that either the BBC or the production company would make a formal announcement before we go public with what we know. However, no formal announcement appears to be forthcoming, but we think its time we share with you all the information we have on the change of name for what used to be called “Antony & Cleopatra” to “Last Tango in Halifax”.
The new name for the show was first mentioned in this article which appeared in the Radio Times on 12 March 2012. The writer, Sally Wainwright, was being interviewed in connection with Series 2 of Scott & Bailey. In the article, Sally said,
… she’s baffled by the lack of meaty roles for mature women. “I’m aware of actresses who get to a certain age and say that there are few parts for them and I just don’t understand it. I’ve just written Last Tango in Halifax [for BBC1], which has two female characters in their late 40s and there’s just so much life about women of that age.”
We wouldn’t describe either Nicola or Sarah Lancaster, the other female lead, as women in their late 40s, but they are actresses and we suppose that means they can act in character of any age bracket.
Then came this article by Vicki Frost in the Guardian which appeared on 2 April 2012, again, as part of the publicity for Scott & Bailey series 2. In this article, Vicki made this remark :
Wainwright’s most recent project is Last Tango in Halifax, a six-part drama for BBC1 about four women – two in their 40s, and two in their 70s – which, combined with the success of Scott & Bailey and the BBC’s Call the Midwife, suggests that female-dominated dramas are having a moment.
So, this got curiouser and curiouser. The first press release for “Antony & Cleopatra” described the show as being about “love and second chances, set in the autumn years of two old school friends , both widowed and in their 70s, unexpectedly fall for each other when they meet again after nearly 50 years”. We know that Anne Reid is the female lead who is the one in her 70s. We have not heard of the casting of a second major female character who is also in her 70s. Of course, the show could be both about the older couple falling back in love as well as the trials and tribulations of the two women in their late 40s. If so, will that leave Nicola with enough scenes to make her participation in this project “interesting” to us fans?
Then there was this Blogger who made an entry on 14 April 2012 which contained this remark :
For all you fans of Scott & Bailey and At Home With The Braithwaites or infact Unforgiven we met up with scriptwriter Sally Wainwright and her friend on the set of her new project ‘Last Tango in Halifax,’ which will be on TV in September.
So, a possible air date in September 2012!
All this time, the CVs of a number of production crew have cropped up on the internet which mentioned that they had recently worked on a show called “Last Tango in Halifax” which matched the description of “Antony & Cleopatra” in terms of the writer, director and main cast involved. For months, cast member Tony Gardner has been dying to reveal, and has since revealed, the new name on Twitter. (We’ve never come across an actor who is so anxious to pull double duties, as both actor and publicist, for a show he is working on. Guess that makes him good value for the hire! :P)
Last but not least, there is this article in the 21 April 2012 edition of the Yorkshire Post Magazine, which gives quite a detailed account of the real life events on which the show is based, as well as an explanation from Sally Wainwright as to why the name change was felt necessary or desirable.
Will the new name stay? Who knows? We certainly hope so, as we’re working on a new left side panel for this fansite relating to Nicola’s credits and the new name of this show will be included. In the meantime, to catch up on all news, tweets and views which we previously collected and logged about the show formerly known as “Antony & Cleopatra”, plus an exclusive family chart which we prepared for this show, go to this Post.
Here is the updated family chart which we previously prepared for our post on Antony & Cleopatra. (Click on the image to see a larger pic.)
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The Region 2 DVD is also Region 4 compatible.
For more updates and a link to the BBC media pack for this show, please turn to the next page.