Nightingales over Snobs

During the TV & Film tour on Saturday 16th June one attendee, @B12Simon, mentioned a show that had slipped through the location spotting net. Not being one to let a Birmingham linked show pass me by I came home and looked it up.


The Alamo produced comedy for Channel 4 told the story of three night watchmen (there was a fourth who was a corpse) in an office block somewhere in the UK.  It starred Robert Lindsay (Citizen Smith & My Family), David Threlfall (Shameless) & James Ellis (Z-Cars) and ran for 13 episodes over two series (1990 & 1993) and a Christmas special in 1992.

The Birmingham link only appeared in the opening and closing credits and carefully selected cityscape shots but you can clearly see the Offices above Snobs, the Town Hall, the Brunel Street (red caged) car park and the now demolished footbridge across the A38 Suffolk Street Queensway. I’d suggest that the high floors of the 28-storey Alpha Tower would be the only location the opening and closing panning shots could have been made from, which qualifies Nightingales as a show shot on location in Birmingham.

Wolverhampton born series writer Paul Makin drew on his experience from his former NEC nightwatchman job to create this surreal cult comedy series, and went on to write episodes of Goodnight Sweetheart (1995-1997) and Chef which starred Lenny Henry, giving this story another Birmingham TV link.

Episode One of Nightingales on You Tube


“There’s nobody here but us chickens”

Thanks to @B12Simon for the tip off, great shout.

  1. #1 by Phil on March 19, 2013 - 7:40 pm

    I remember watching Nightingales and always thought the building in the credits was in Birmingham and now,after all these years i’ve had it confirmed.Thankyou!

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