Hot Metal, 1986

In the 1980’s tabloid newspapers were well known for their journalistic licence and many referred to them as “gutter press”.  It seemed an obvious subject for a sitcom.

Hot Metal was a biting satire about the newspaper industry, that reflected the times.

From the same writing team that brought us Whoops Apocalypse! Hot Metal ran for twelve episodes over two series.

A one off thirteen minute comic Relief Special was aired in 1989.


The Daily Crucible is Britain’s dullest newspaper.  Suddenly it finds itself taken over by  media magnate Terence “Twiggy” Rathbone of Rathbone International.

Rathbone sets about spicing The Daily Crucible up, relaunching the newspaper as a completely downmarket, sex and sleaze-centric tabloid.

Editor Harry Stringer is ‘promoted’ to managing editor and replaced in his old job by Russell Spam.  As Spam takes the paper shooting downmarket he turns the Crucible into a sensation seeking scandal rag.

In his route downmarket he enlists the help of South African newspaper editor Russell Spam, whose job is to deflect the complaints of the ‘old guard’ and re-employ bottom-of-the-barrel reporters like Greg Kettle, the sort of person who thinks nothing of using a medium to interview victims of capital punishment…






The Final Scenes



A Brief Return For A Good Cause



Robert Hardy – Terence Rathbone/Russell Spam
Richard Kane – Greg Kettle
Geoffrey Palmer – Harry Stringer
Richard Wilson – Dicky Lipton
Caroline Milmoe – Maggie Troon


Channel: ITV
Written By: Andrew Marshall and David Renwick
Production Company: London Weekend Television
Original Transmission Dates: 16th February 1986 – 10th March 1989

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