Looking After Jo Jo
Character: John Joe ‘Jo Jo’ McCann
Original Release: January 12, 1998 (UK)
Directed by: John Mackenzie
Written by: Frank Deasy
Produced by: Deirdre Keir, Andrea Calderwood, Annie Rees
Distributed by: BBC Scotland
Running Time: 50 minutes

Set on an Edinburgh council estate in the bleak 1980's rising drug dealer Jo-Jo McCann is hellbent on gaining money and power at all costs.

Cast & Characters

Kevin McKidd (Basil), Ewan Stewart (Charlie McCann), David Johnston (Jamie), Jenny McCrindle (Lorraine), Aline Mowat (Christine), Julie T. Wallace (Billy's), George Anton (Steve), Patricia Brake (Doro), Kenneth Bryans (Jamie Crichton), Juliet Cadzow (Lorraine's mother), Matt Costello (Ian), Bob Docherty (Sheriff), Ron Donachie (Des), Paul Doonan (Eddie), Steven Duffy (Thingme), Gilly Gilchrist (D.C. Gordon Monk), Ellie Haddington (Mary McCann), Kathryn Howden (Sarah)

Photo Gallery
Episode Guide
1x01 - "Steal the Herd" (original airdate: January 12, 1998)
In 1982 Jo Jo McCann always manages to stay one step ahead of the police. Family loyalties are tested to the limit by his determination to set up a crime empire in opposition to his uncle, the local underworld kingpin who has a few ruthless ideas of his own.
1x02 - "Working Week" (original airdate: January 19, 1998)
The attraction of making big money dealing heroin proves too much for recently acquitted Jo Jo, who jumps on the bandwagon at the first opportunity. But evil undercurrents of violence and addiction soon surface as he becomes consumed by Edinburgh's drug culture, prompting him to think carefully about his future. Hard-hitting crime drama.
1x03 - "Sinking the Belgrano" (original airdate: January 26, 1998)
It is 1983 Money begins to roll in at long last as Jo Jo's heroin business takes off in earnest. But what he doesn't take into account, is that his dodgy dealings are about to destroy everything he loves.
1x04 - "When Love Goes Wrong" (original airdate: February 2, 1998)
The walls of Jo Jo's world come tumbling down as he finally uncovers the truth about his father's death. Meanwhile, the community spirit of the estate collapses under the pressure of Sarah's imprisonment, Charlie McCann's murder and a rampant Aids epidemic.

Filming Locations:
  • Sighthill, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
  • Was released on VHS by the BBC in 1999 after its initial showing on BBC 2 in 1998. However it wasn't available on DVD for many years. Despite this it did enjoy a cult following - especially in recent years on video-sharing websites like YouTube. In 2015 Simply Media gave it an official DVD release.

Memorable Quotes

"In Trainspotting there was a heightened, almost trendiness value to it. I don't think there is anything trendy about Jo Jo. I know those people extremely well and I definitely know for sure how they are going to take it."
- Robert Carlyle

"I got my jaw broken on that job. It happened during a fight sequence with Mike Nardone that went wrong. I think I conked out. It was the weirdest thing. Bobby Carlyle was sitting there – I knew Bobby from college because we shared a flat – and I remember him asking: 'Are you OK?'" I must have been completely out of it because I didn't feel any pain, but I could hear the cracking of my jaw. I should have said something. They went for a third time and that is what did it. My jaw had been broken but it [ended up] smashed. It really wasn't his [Nardone] fault."
- Kathryn Howden

Awards & Nominations

BAFTA TV Awards - Best Actor - Robert Carlyle
RTS Television Awards - Best Writer - Frank Deasy

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