Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Entertainment

Blackpool 1994 BBC series Three Salons at the Seaside becomes surprise iPlayer hit

Before the days of reality TV and social media, there was one way to catch up on the latest gossip: go to the hairdresser.  And the conversations at the salon proved so interesting that they became the subject of the award-winning 1994 TV documentary, Three Salons at the Seaside (above).

Before the days of reality TV and social media, there was one way to catch up on the latest gossip: go to the hairdresser.

And the conversations in the living room proved so interesting that they became the subject of the 1994 television documentary Three Living Rooms by the Sea.

Now the 40-minute episode On The Wall focusing on three hairdressers in Blackpool has been a hit again after being put on BBC iPlayer.

The show focused on owners and patrons of Vanity Box, Mary’s Way and Tricia’s salons.

Before the days of reality TV and social media, there was one way to catch up on the latest gossip: go to the hairdresser.  And the conversations at the salon proved so interesting that they became the subject of the award-winning 1994 TV documentary, Three Salons at the Seaside (above).

Before the days of reality TV and social media, there was one way to catch up on the latest gossip: go to the hairdresser. And the conversations at the salon proved so interesting that they became the subject of the award-winning 1994 TV documentary, Three Salons at the Seaside (above).

It was directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, who is now well known for directing episodes of shows such as Call the Midwife and The Crown.

In one exchange, two women from Vanity Box are seen having their hair done as they discuss how one of them was injured and needed stitches after “a woman knocked me down at outside of Quicksave”.

When her friend asks her where she got hurt, the octogenarian replies: “I must have had stitches in my head. I had to walk with a stick since.

She adds: “I had to go to the hospital. The nurse at the doctor’s office removed two.

“She said to come back. I came to see Hilary and Hilary said “I’m going to take those stitches off”. So Hilary took them out.

In another, a Mary’s Way hairdresser is seen chatting with a client of Coronation Street star Lynne Perrie, who played Ivy Tilsley, after she had plastic surgery.

The hairdresser said, “Oooh, she doesn’t look awful, she looks like a chipmunk, doesn’t she!”

When her client said “there was nothing wrong with her at first,” she added, “Oh, she was, she was.” She had wrinkles on her cheeks. They left.

“But I’m sure they did his mouth wrong. Terrible.’

A third exchange sees Vanity Box’s Hilary talking to a customer about a couple who had ‘new windows’.

The client, whose hair is rolled up in curlers, says, “I couldn’t believe it.”

She adds: ‘I applied to see if I could get a scholarship, and they said no. And she’s on social media and getting [the] a lot…it’s a shame.’

Mary Burney, 75, who ran Mary’s Way until her retirement in 2011, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We didn’t know about these flying things on the wall that they’re doing now , and we couldn’t understand why anyone would want to film us doing what we do every day.

“But it was terribly interesting and everyone was lovely. And you could tell when you met Philippa that she was very talented and very intelligent. And it was just a lot of fun.

A third exchange sees Vanity Box's Hilary talking to a customer about a couple who had 'new windows'.  The customer, whose hair is rolled up in curlers, says:

A third exchange sees Vanity Box’s Hilary talking to a customer about a couple who had ‘new windows’. The client, whose hair is rolled up in curlers, says, “I couldn’t believe it.” She adds: ‘I applied to see if I could get a scholarship, and they said no. And she’s on social media and getting [the] a lot… it’s a shame’

Ms Lowhorpe added: ‘It was one of those things where I really wanted to get the women on TV talking because that’s how I grew up in Yorkshire listening to my aunts talk like that.

“And there was a challenge because a colleague of mine said nobody would be interested in a movie like that.”

“And we went to Blackpool, sat in different hair salons and met Mary, who was so warm, funny and witty.

“The hairdresser has rendered a social service to the community. It was more than getting your hair done, it was about life and death and everything in between.

Since directing Three Salons, Ms. Lowthorpe has tried to feature a hairdresser scene in every film or series she has directed.

In The Crown, Claire Foy’s Queen Elizabeth gets her hair done in the second series.

Tricia’s and Vanity Box have closed since Three Salons aired, while Mary’s Way is now an outlet called Salon K.

Three Salons was selected this year as one of the best documentaries of the past 50 years by the Grierson Trust charity, which promotes documentary cinema.

This prompted the BBC to remove it from its archives.

Tricia's was another outlet that featured in the hit BBC documentary, which is now on iPlayer

Tricia’s was another outlet that featured in the hit BBC documentary, which is now on iPlayer

Vanity Box also featured on the show.  Hairdressers Hilary and Joyce were on staff

Vanity Box also featured on the show. Hairdressers Hilary and Joyce were on staff

Hairstylist Hilary from Vanity Box

Joyce, who also worked at Vanity Box

Vanity Box hairstylists Hilary (left) and Joyce (right) are seen above on the BBC show

Fans on social media sang the show’s praises.

One wrote: “I would urge anyone over a certain age, especially if you’re a northerner or a fan of Victoria Wood (you’ll see what I mean if you watch it) to try.” It’s absolutely wonderful.

Another called it ‘BBC documentary making at its best’, adding: ‘There is something humbling about listening to these stoic working class women, many of whom would have lived through two world wars and a great depression”.

‘Now the loneliness. The quiet strength of women in difficult times.

A third said the show reminded them of their own mother, who ‘visited her hairdresser every Friday to catch up on all the latest gossip’ and ‘had her shampoo and set’.

In April, Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett and Harriet Walter premiered a parody version of Three Salons, titled Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport, in their Documentary Now mockumentary series.

The episode was filmed in Mrs. Burney’s former living room.

In April, Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett (right) and Harriet Walter created a parody version of Three Salons, titled Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport, in their Documentary Now mockumentary series.  The episode was filmed in Mrs. Burney's former living room, now called Salon K

In April, Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett (right) and Harriet Walter created a parody version of Three Salons, titled Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport, in their Documentary Now mockumentary series. The episode was filmed in Mrs. Burney’s former living room, now called Salon K

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Business

If range anxiety is putting you off the idea of owning an electric vehicle, pause for thought for one married couple planning to embark...

Business

When the government announced help with household energy bills last year, businesses were initially left without support, despite higher costs. Following backlash from the...

Business

Base rate bounce: Chase, Tandem and Newcastle BS raise easy-to-access savings rates following Bank of England hike Tandem Increases Instant Access Savings Rate to...

Business

Victoria Scholar of Interactive Investor explains why the FTSE 250 could outperform the FTSE 100 in 2023 Victoria Scholar is Head of Investments at...