The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole was pretty much business as usual with the only major difference being that Julie Walters no longer played Adrian’s mum and the part was played by Lulu instead.
Yes, that’s right, Lulu of Boom-Bang-a-Bang, Shout and The Man with the Golden Gun fame.
Now I never really noticed that she was recast when I watched it originally and even though it was a lot more obvious when I watched it again recently it wasn’t as jarring as I thought that it might have been and Lulu was actually rather good as Pauline Mole, not quite as good as Julie Walters by any means, but good enough in her own right, and had a fairly decent Midlands accent to boot.
It is really a shame that we didn’t have Julie Walters back for this series as Pauline Mole has so much to do in the series when compared to the first series but I cannot say that Lulu disappointed either.
Highlights of this second series involve Adrian running away from home and only getting as far as Hull; Pauline Mole fighting the system and getting an emergency giro cheque from the DSS (not an easy task in those days); Adrian getting suspended from school for writing a poem on the toilet walls and signing it, and then becoming a member of Barry Kent’s gang.
It continued to be rather bleak with the family sliding deeper and deeper into penury with Adrian trying to make sense of it all and try to pass his o-levels.
There were plenty of heart-wrenching elements as well such as Bert’s new wife Queenie dying of a stroke not long after their marriage.
There seemed to be some incidental music in this second series albeit the same piece of music used throughout which I don’t think that they had in the first series and am not sure that it made it any better because of that.
As a dramatised version of the second book this was another success and I am glad that I finally got to see it again after so many years!