Entertainment

BBC announces slate of new dramas including Martin Freeman thriller

The broadcaster has commisioned four new dramas across BBC One, Two and Three.

Martin Freeman will enter the front line of British policing in a new drama for BBC Two.

The Responder, based on the experiences of officer-turned-writer Tony Schumacher, is one of four new dramas commissioned by the broadcaster.

The six-part series will follow Chris, played by Sherlock star Freeman, across six night shifts in Liverpool as an urgent response officer.

BBC cost cutting plans
BBC Broadcasting House (Aaron Chown/PA)

Laurence Bowen and Chris Carey will executive produce the programme for Dancing Ledge Productions.

Freeman said: “Tony Schumacher’s script for The Responder resonated with me immediately. It felt like nothing that I’d read or seen.

“Great to work with Laurence and Chris at Dancing Ledge again and finding a home at the BBC has been a wonderful start to the journey.”

Schumacher said: “If you had told me six years ago that I would be working with the BBC, a company of the calibre of Dancing Ledge, and an actor with the talent of Martin Freeman, I would have thrown you out of my taxi for being drunk.

“And yet here I am, surrounded and supported by all these great people, and able to launch this story on one of the greatest TV channels in the world.

“It turns out that dreams can come true after all.”

Also among the new slate of dramas is My Name Is Leon on BBC One, based on author Kit de Waal’s novel of the same name and adapted by Shola Amoo.

Graham Norton Show – London
Sir Lenny Henry (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The one-off film, produced by Sir Lenny Henry’s Douglas Road Productions, is set in 80s Britain and tells the story of a mixed-race boy as his single-parent mother suffers a breakdown.

Sir Lenny said: “I was halfway through recording the audiobook for My Name Is Leon when I realised I was in love.

“Kit de Waal’s peerless narrative had me entranced from the beginning and didn’t let me go until the final sentence.

“Shola’s adaptation does the story great justice and our intention is for the film to similarly captivate.”

Six-part series Chloe, on BBC One, is Sex Education director Alice Seabright’s first original TV series commission, and explores the obsessive relationship between two women.

Nicole Lecky’s six-part Superhoe will air on BBC Three.

Based on her one woman Royal Court show, it follows 24-year-old Sasha Clayton, played by Lecky, who dreams of being a singer and rapper.

The broadcaster’s head of drama, Piers Wenger, announced the new dramas during a launch event in London on Monday.

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