Ridley Road’s Tracy Ann Oberman shares real-life connection to BBC drama on The One Show

Agnes O’Casey stars in BBC's Ridley Road trailer

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BBC One’s brand new period drama Ridley Road has launched newcomer Agnes O’Casey to stardom. O’Casey and her co-star appeared on Monday night’s episode of The One Show to reveal more, and Tracy Ann Oberman detailed a highly personal connection to the real-life events depicted in the series. 

Tracy Ann Oberman has revealed her family history shares parallels to the events depicted in the new BBC drama, Ridley Road.

The brand new historical series details the rise of fascism in the East End of London during the 1960s.

After becoming an instant hit with its premiere on Sunday night, Oberman and her breakout co-star Agnes O’Casey previewed the next episodes on The One Show.

“[1962 England saw] a huge rise in fascism,” Oberman explained. “Nazi acolytes who had it in for Jewish people.”

Star of the James Bond franchise, Rory Kinnear, features as one of these acolytes, Colin Jordan.

The actress continued: “Colin Jordan and his fascists rose on the streets of Britain and were setting fire to synagogues, and were trying to kill as many Jews as they could.”

Oberman then revealed her family were caught up in a similar event before the Second World War. 

One Show presenter Jermaine Jenas asked: “This drama, Tracy, actually has certain parallels to something that happened with your own family.”

The Ridley Road star confirmed, adding that Monday, October 4 was the 85th anniversary of The Battle of Cable Street. 

This series of riots also occurred in the East End of London in 1936.

Fights broke out in the area, most notably in Cable Street, after the Metropolitan Police were sent to protect the British Union of Fascists’ march, led by Oswald Mosley.

Oberman explained: “They decided to attack the Jews in the East End by marching these angry fascists.”

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“And wanted to march into the East End where my great-grandparents, my grandparents and all my uncles and aunts were living.”

Mosley, whom Oberman described as a close friend of Hitler, believed he would have the support of the London working-class during the march. 

However, their demonstration was barricaded by various anti-fascist groups, including trade unionists, anarchists and British Jews.

The actress continued: “Everybody stood with their Jewish neighbours and they wouldn’t let them pass.”

She then revealed her ancestors played a major role in the ensuing protest against Mosley. 

Oberman recalled: “My great-uncle was pushed through a plane glass window by the blackshirts, who were Mosley’s followers.

“And my grandma was throwing marbles under their shoes so they couldn’t pass.”

Tracy Ann Oberman finished by maintaining the themes of the historical drama hold true as similar events still take place to this day.

Ridley Road continues Sundays on BBC One. The One Show airs weekdays at 7pm on BBC One. 


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