Byrne About Byrne

Character: Spanky Farrell
Original Release: April 1, 1988 (UK)
Directed by: John Byrne
Written by: John Byrne
Produced by: Keith Alexander, Nigel Finch
Distributed by: BBC 2 England
Running Time: 50 minutes

Each season Arena (1975– ) invites a distinguished figure in the arts to direct a film. This year's guest director is John Byrne , painter and author of "Tutti Frutti".

In this diverse and inventive autobiography, Byrne travels from his youth, through his art school years to the period of his stage and TV plays, and on to his death sometime in the future.

With him is Robbie Coltrane as himself and as a shamus invented by Byrne, who discovers there are as many aspects to the author as there are actors playing him.

"Byrne About Byrne" was the 17th episode of season 13 and Robert Carlyle (credited onscreen as Robert Carlysle) played young Byrne’s co-worker Spanky Farrell. This is Robert's first credited role.


Cast & Characters

John Byrne (Mobile Library Driver / Himself), Robbie Coltrane (Detective / Himself), Robert Carlyle (Spanky Farrell), Katy Murphy (Usherette), Bill Paterson (F.S. McDade), Richard Wilson (Eddy Clockerty / Himself), Stuart Davids (Phil McCann / Young Byrne)


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