Entertainment

New project from Michaela Coel and period drama from Shane Meadows in the works

The BBC has announced its upcoming slate of dramas.

A new project from I May Destroy You creator Michaela Coel, a period drama from This Is England’s Shane Meadows and an adaptation of Dolly Alderton’s memoir Everything I Know About Love are among the upcoming dramas from the BBC.

The corporation also announced playwright Cash Carraway will write a series inspired by her debut memoir Skint Estate, which will star This Country’s Daisy May Cooper, while Theresa Ikoko, the writer of Bafta-winning film Rocks, will adapt the novel Wahala.

Queenie author Candice Carty-Williams will take on her first TV project with Champion, about a successful British rapper who goes to prison and wants to reclaim his status on his return home.

Women of The Year Lunch and Awards 2019 – London
Candice Carty-Williams (Ian West/PA)

While he is away, his sister, who has previously worked as his personal assistant, forges her own path outside of his shadow and sets the siblings on rival paths in a quest to top the charts.

Carty-Williams said: “Champion is a celebration of black music and a black family, however fragmented that family might be.

“Since I knew what music was, I’ve loved grime and UK rap and neo-soul, to the point of obsession, and to bring to a primetime slot a series that gives these genres of music life and texture is absolutely amazing, as is getting to work with some of the best producers making music today to create original tracks for the show.

“I can’t think of anywhere else Champion could sit but the BBC and I’m looking forward to everyone seeing a show that they have never seen before.”

Meadows will make his first television drama for the BBC with The Gallows Pole, based on the novel of the same name by Benjamin Myers, which is against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in 18th-century Yorkshire and fictionalises the true story of the rise and fall of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners.

Svengali Premiere – London
Shane Meadows (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

It follows Hartley as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to become counterfeiters, starting a criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history.

Meadows said: “The Gallows Pole is an incredible true story, little known outside of Yorkshire, about a group of very naughty men and women who started clipping and counterfeiting coins out in the Moors, as a way to keep themselves and their community alive.

“I’ve never made a period drama before so I’m absolutely buzzing, and to be doing it with Piers (Wenger) at the BBC, his incredible team, and Element Pictures is nothing short of an honour.”

Sunday Times journalist Alderton will adapt her own memoir into a series for the BBC while Ikoko will adapt Nikki May’s debut novel Wahala, which is soon to be published and follows three thirty-something Anglo-Nigerian female friends living in London.

The Crown Season Three Premiere – London
Dolly Alderton (Ian West/PA)

Mum writer Stefan Golaszewski will turn his hand to a four-part hour-long drama with Marriage, about a couple that need each other, as it examines the fears, comforts and frustrations of a long-term relationship.

Little information about Coel’s new project was offered but Piers Wenger, director of drama at the BBC, told journalists: “It’s truly in Michaela’s head and it’s not for me to second guess that too much at this point, it’s relatively early stages but I just wanted to let everybody know, for the fans of I May Destroy You, that there was a new show coming along.

“What relationship that show will have with the original series… there is a relationship between Chewing Gum (Coel’s first TV series) and I May Destroy You, there is a sort of through line to Michaela’s thinking and I suspect there may be elements but it’s really too early to say anything too specific.”

Wenger was also asked about the future of Line Of Duty, following the conclusion of the most recent series, and he said: “I think there can only be one answer to that question and it’s no comment.”

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