Alive And Kicking. Image shows from L to R: Steveie 'Smudger' Smith (Lenny Henry), Earl Preston (Paul Barber). Copyright: BBC.

Alive And Kicking

BBC One comedy drama about drug addiction. 1 episode in 1991. Stars Lenny Henry, Robbie Coltrane, Annabelle Apsion, Geff Francis and others.

Alive And Kicking. Image shows from L to R: Earl Preston (Paul Barber), Liam Kane (Robbie Coltrane), Steveie 'Smudger' Smith (Lenny Henry). Copyright: BBC.

Alive And Kicking

Black comedy that takes an unflinching look at drug addiction

Comedy Drama
Lenny Henry, Robbie Coltrane, Annabelle Apsion, Geff Francis, Jillie Meers, Fintan McKeown, Jane Horrocks, Beresford Le Roy and others
Al Ashton
Robert Young
David M Thompson

Smudger is a ruthless Birmingham drug dealer, convinced he is untouchable and reigning his patch with no mercy. Married to Maz, their lives begin to change when they have their first child, Josh, and find he is born a heroin addict. Despite her best intentions, it's not long before the child is taken into care.

Meanwhile, a former Scottish gangster turned drug counsellor, Liam, has begun work in the area, with a no-nonsense approach to his craft that is very much inspired by his previous career. Desperate to be reunited with her son, Maz crosses his path and is accepted on a residential clean-up programme, leaving Smudge both alone and effervescent with rage.

What follows is the battle of wills between Smudge and Liam, who's determined to break him and do his best to reunite a clean family. After months of struggle his success at getting through to Smudge is limited at best: change cannot be forced upon a man who is unwilling. All it takes, however, is a chance encounter with a young kick-about football team whilst on Maz's trail, to begin to turn Smudge away from his life as dealer and user.

His former associates, however, are less than enthusiastic to let him walk free from their trade.

Based on the true story of a Glaswegian football team founded to help drug addicts kick their habit.

Production Details

Production company
Also known as
  • Screen One: Alive And Kicking (Other official name)
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Sunday 13th October 1991 on BBC One at 9:20pm
Episode length
95 minutes
Last repeat
Monday 23rd September 2019 at 3:00pm on TPTV

Website links