A Catherine Cookson Christmas with Drama

It is rare that you’ll meet someone who hasn’t heard the name Catherine Cookson. Dame Catherine Cookson wrote almost 100 books in her lifetime, many of which were made in to films and television dramas. This year Drama are making it a special ‘Cookson Christmas‘ for all of us.

Catherine Cookson - Drama

You can watch a Catherine Cookson television adaptation every day from Sunday 20th December until Thursday 31st December on Drama this Christmas, including Christmas day. There is a television guide on their website so do have a look.

I’ve recently watched The Wingless Bird by Catherine Cookson. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s about a very strong woman Agnes and the dramas that herself and her family live through set just before, during and just after the First World War.

Agnes - The Wingless Bird

Photo by: ITV/REX Shutterstock ITV Archive ‘The Wingless Bird’ TV 1997 – Claire Skinner

Here’s a quick synopsis of the book and corresponding television version:

“Even the approach of Christmas, 1913, fails to excite the restless Agnes Conway, the twenty-two-year-old manager of her feckless father’s adjoining sweet and tobacconist shops.  There are dark secrets in Arthur Conway’s past, and these come tragically to light when Agnes’s younger sister becomes pregnant by one of the notorious Felton brothers.  And Agnes herself has a secret, which she knows she must keep from her father:  an attachment to Charles Farrier, son of a local landowner, who outrages his own pious family by proposing marriage…

But Charles is not the only man who shapes Agnes’s future, for his brother Reginald makes no secret of his admiration for her; although she could not have foreseen how significant a part he was to play in her destiny…”

The Wingless Bird

Photo by: ITV/REX Shutterstock ITV Archive ‘The Wingless Bird’ TV 1997 – Claire Skinner

The Wingless Bird is the perfect Catherine Cookson to watch at this time of year, as with it being Christmas at the start there are a few festive scenes, that made me wish for a lovely traditional Christmas with sugar mice popped around the tree and a big family meal.

Despite being set so many years ago, watching The Wingless Bird reminded me of modern-day soaps. There are dramatic scenes, an unplanned pregnancy, people falling in love with people they shouldn’t  and more. Similar to some of the soaps that I watch weekly, there are points at which you can just tell what is about to happen and you almost want to shout at the screen to tell them to stop…obviously I don’t as I do have neighbours.

Catherine Cookson tackles all sorts of topics in her books including class, racism, sexism, feminism, war, love and more. She is really skilled at bringing history to life in her books, and the television versions do so even more. The topics covered are so often timeless issues, relevant throughout the decades.

With The Wingless Bird, I really couldn’t have predicted the ending. I won’t give it away, but it is a happy one as all endings should be in my opinion. I really enjoyed watching The Wingless Bird, it was a good excuse to curl up on the sofa and enter a different world for a couple of hours. It is over 2 hours long, but it really didn’t seem like it as I was enjoying it so much that the time flew.

Cookson is brilliant at building suspense in her books, and this has been so well translated in to the television versions.

It’s not just the Catherine Cookson television adaptations that you can enjoy on the Drama channel this festive season, some of my favourites on there include Sharpe – did anyone else have a crush on Sean Bean when they were growing up? – New Tricks and Birds of a Feather.Watching Birds of a Feather always reminds me of growing up, as it’s one of those series that we always watched as a family. There are loads more to choose from though.

Drama is one of those channels that is perfect for a rainy weekend, to curl up with a cup of tea, a blanket and your favourite people. I love watching it with my children, especially with some of the older programmes they show amongst the newer ones, as I like to see their opinions of the shows I grew up watching.

Another blogger Amanda was also invited to watch The Wingless Bird if you want to see if she enjoyed it as much as I did, then you should pop over to her blog at Rhyme and Ribbons.

If you want to watch The Wingless Bird it is on Drama on Wednesday 23rd December at 1pm, and you can pop to the Drama website to find other great programmes to watch as well, you can even watch a lot of programmes through their on demand player.

Drama can be watched on BT Vision and Freeview on Channel 20, Sky Channel 158 and Virgin Media Channel 190.

Stevie x

*sponsored by Drama, but all thoughts and opinions as ever are my own*

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  1. 20 December 2015 / 12:37 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it as well!

  2. 20 December 2015 / 9:47 pm

    I love a bit of a period drama, this would be right up our street! There’s just nothing like the good old days when it comes to TV! x

    • 21 December 2015 / 2:26 pm

      Definitely agree Donna, Drama’s one of those channels you curl up on the sofa and lose yourself in

      Stevie x