Brian Jacques with Bill Stewart on the set of The Muscle Market

The Muscle Market was the 12th episode of the 11th season of BBC4 television series A Play for Today, a UK television program that featured original television plays and stage play adaptations from 1970-1984. This teleplay was written by Liverpudlian Alan Bleasdale, and it was filmed around Liverpool and Birkenhead.

This episode first aired on January 13, 1981, and Brian Jacques acted as a minor cast member. Along with a few others, he was a "heavy," or a person hired as protection.

Brian appears towards the end of the show, around the 01:08 minute marker, as one amongst several men serving as a group of thugs for Philip Donaghy's character, Maxie. The men proceed to intimidate various bidders who are participating in an auction for construction equipment, and the buyers quickly depart as the heavies move in to take over the event.

Brian is given one line of dialogue as the auctioneer finds himself overwhelmed: "Hey yeah, the final offer, take it or leave it. Eleven pence, eighty."

  • Running time: 1 hour, 18 min.

Official Synopsis

'Remember when we were kids - either never out of trouble or never out of the pictures.' Danny Duggan's rough-house business methods and life-style owe more to early influences than to the CBI. But with the bottom falling out of the building game and the Inland Revenue on the doorstep, playing at gangsters is only fun when you're on the winning side.


  • Peter Postlethwaite - Danny Dugan
  • Philip Donaghy - Maxie
  • Terence Rigby - Bernard
  • Alison Steadman - Susan
  • Paul Jesson - John
  • Mitzi Mueller - Pauleen
  • Ken Sharrock - Miller
  • Paul Harman - Abbott
  • Roger Phillips - "Costello"
  • Ronald Forfar - "Costello the Second"
  • Barry McCarthy - Hutchinson
  • Bill Stewart - Auctioneer
  • Bill Moores - Arthur
  • Derek McLean - Bernard's son
  • Adrian Mills - Bernard's son
  • Mike Donohoe - Heavy
  • Steve Faye - Heavy
  • Brian Jacques - Heavy
  • Jackie Hamilton - Heavy
  • Mike Hayden - Heavy
  • Johnny Mallen - Heavy
  • Ken Rose - Heavy


  • Alan Bleasdale - Screenwriter
  • Eddie Powell - Fight Arranger
  • Warwick Bedford - Stills Photographer
  • David Attwood - Production assistant
  • Andrew Meikle - Production assistant
  • Carol Parls - Production Unit manager
  • Diana Coxon - Director's assistant
  • James Webster - Assistant floor manager
  • Terry Dawson - Costume designer
  • Pam Rayson - Makeup artist
  • Martin Dale - Film recordist
  • David Baumber - Dubbing mixer
  • Henry Fowler - Film editor
  • Sally Williams - Designer
  • David Jackson - Photography
  • Michael Wearing - Producer


Brian Jacques in "The Muscle Market"

Brian Jacques in "The Muscle Market"

Brian Jacques in The Muscle Market