It all began in 1983 when Shaun, a twelve-year-old boy, is befriended by a group of skinheads after being bullied at school. Sisters Lol (Vicky McClure) and Kelly (Chanel Cresswell) give him the haircut and he enters a new world of parties, Ben Sherman shirts, Doc Martin boots, shaven hairstyles, and, of course girls – including Smell (Rosamund Hanson). But then Lol’s former boyfriend Combo, a bitter, dangerous, racist psychotic, is released from prison.
This is England ’86 picks up the story three years later with Lol and Woody about to get married. The darker tone is set when the wedding is halted by a heartattack. The story centres on Lol who begins this series with the classic dream of wanting to marry her soul mate Woody, and ends it stuck amidst a nightmare.
This is England ’88 is darker still; Lol is living alone and struggling to cope with the twin burdens of parenthood and the memory of her abusive father and his grisly demise. Shaun is still going out with Smell but fancies a pretty classmate who is appearing alongside him in a college play.
This is England ’90 may be coming but it is unclear whether it will feature Lol; Vicky McClure recently said: ‘I cannot see her taking any more damage.’
Catherine Scoble was the hair & makeup designer throughout; Donald McInnes was the hair & makeup supervisor on This is England; Peta Dunstall was the chief hairdresser on This is England ’86; Los Shiavo was chief hairdresser on This is England ’88.