City Sugar (1978)
Written by Stephen Poliakoff and directed by Mike Vardy
City Sugar is the screen version of a successful stage play by Poliakoff which had been presented in the West End starring Adam Faith. The story charts a week in the life of a DJ, Leonard Brazil, as he launches what he calls the competition of the century aimed directly at a youth audience. It is a promotional campaign designed to whip up excitement amongst the station's audience in preparation for a super-group's visit to the city.
As Leonard runs the competition, he is tormented by self-loathing and takes out his anger on those around him. He singles out, Nicola Davies, one of his listeners and engineers that she comes in to the studio where he purposefully humiliates her. Nicola Davies is beautifully played by Veronica Quilligan. Tim Curry delivers a powerful performance as the DJ, shortly after his appearance in The Rocky Horror Picture Show had first made him a leading actor.
Shot entirely on location in Glasgow, it provides a fascinating glimpse of the early days of commercial radio in this country, and a moment in pop history just before punk exploded. In fact, in the last memorable sequence of the film when the two young shop assistants raid the contents of a supermarket, we are clearly in the time of punk rage.
This version of City Sugar was a considerable success on television.