Pearl Parker and Finn Gallagher (South of the Border)

Created by Susan Wilkins

Pearl and Finn.

Good girl PEARL PARKER and punkette FINN GALLAGHER are two young besties from Deptford in South London who decide to become private eyes, in South of the Border, a British television show that ran for two seasons on BBC1 in the late eighties, and was notable at the time for its defiant attention to the political and multicultural mix of the rough-and-tumbler working class neighbourhood, and the casting of Buki Armstrong, a black woman, as Pearl. It was a nice change from the usual pale males of the TV P.I. genre, and was fondly remembered by many, particularly women.

There was even a novelization, but no DVD release so far.


  • “Fancied itself as South London’s answer to Cagney and Lacey. Many of the cast and crew were women and good roles were given to black actors. Perhaps a little self-conscious about its politically correct credentials, it only ran for one season.”
    — Den of Geek
  • “I’m guessing Den possibly hasn’t seen Cagney and Lacey in a long time, or South of the Border, or possibly both, and South actually ran for two seasons. Not that I’m much better, but in the few clips I’ve seen, the youthful giddiness and idealism of Pearl and Finn reminded me more of Laverne and Shirley than the battered middle-aged world-weariness of Cagney and Lacey.”
    — the editor


    (1988-90, BBC1)
    15 episodes
    Created by Susan Wilkins,
    Writers: Susan Wilkins, Jon Paul Morgan, Q, Tony Dennis, Michael Ellis, Barbara Machin, Winsome Pinnock, Ayshe Raif
    Directors: Lesley Manning, Udayan Prasad, Antonia Bird, Steve Hilliker, Ngozi Onwurah
    Music composed and performed by Alan Lisk
    Starring Buki Armstrong as PEARL PARKER
    and Rosie Rowell as FINN GALLAGHER
    Also starring Valentine Nonyela, Dinah Stabb, Jimmi Harkishin, Brian Bovell, Corinne Skinner-Carter, Q


  • South of the Border (1992, by Barbara Machin) | Buy this book
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to SD-Rob for the nudge.

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