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Scarred For Life


A funny and nostalgic deep dive into the dark and disturbing pop culture of the 70s and 80s

Did you spend your childhood being traumatised by Worzel Gummidge, Hartley Hare, Children of the Stones and the Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water? Were you terrified of the Usborne Book of Ghosts in your school library, given nightmares by Horror Top Trumps and Game of Jaws, and then handed a Dalek’s Death Ray lolly to calm you down?

The children who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s were placed in the unenviable position of being scared by virtually everything. In this show, Liverpool writers Stephen Brotherstone and Dave Lawrence – the men behind the superb Scarred For Life books – will be giving a hilarious talk about the TV, films, music, comics, board games, books, adverts and crisps (no, really) that blighted all of our childhoods. All accompanied by a slide show of some of their most potent childhood fears! There’ll be explicit talk about the giant spiders from Doctor Who, discussion of the bloodthirsty ending to Blake’s 7, a rummage through the gruesome Public Information Films that haunted all our nightmares… and even a Top 10 Chart Countdown of the best British hit singles to be inspired by the prospect of impending nuclear armageddon.

And, afterwards, there’ll be a Q&A and discussion – so feel free to chip in with your own memories of retro childhood trauma!

Stephen and Dave’s incredible book Scarred For Life Volume One: The 1970s was published in 2017, with Volume Two: Television in the 1980s following in 2020. Both have become huge hits. They are, essentially, gigantic compendiums of everything that terrified a generation of British kids during these extraordinary decades… from appallingly graphic kids’ TV to violent comics (and Monster Fun), post-apocalyptic cinema, shocking sitcoms and a boom in paranormal news coverage! This, lest we forget, was the era when respectable BBC1 news programmes would run regular features on poltergeists, UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster. Not to mention Nationwide’s epoch-defining coverage of the ‘Hexham Heads’ and their accompanying werewolf…

So come and join us for the ultimate celebration of vintage terror! You are – of course – at liberty to watch from behind your fingers, although sadly we’re unable to provide a sofa to hide behind. And the evening will be hosted by Fortean Times writer Bob Fischer, who spent the entirety of 1978 convinced that his family dog had rabies after glimpsing an appallingly irresponsible poster next to the headmaster’s office door in his primary school reception.


“A charming look back at a time when pop culture was used to scare the living daylights out of every child and adult across the land” – Louder Than War

“It might just stop the nightmares” – We Are Cult

“Such an engaging and fascinating read” – Horrified Magazine

“Their enthusiastic expertise for the subject is enlightening and infectious” – Fortean Times


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