Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Romola Garai to star in BBC2 period newsroom drama

Romola Garai is to star in a new drama which could be the BBC’s equivalent to US TV hit Mad Men.

New six-part BBC2 series The Hour will bring to life 1950s London and take viewers behind the scenes of a topical news show as TV was finding its feet.

Romola recently starred in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and will soon be seen in BBC2's four part adaptation of The Crimson Petal And The White

The Hour, written by Abi Morgan and produced by Kudos Film and Television, is being billed as a sexy, stylistic period show, looking at gender politics but switching the action back a little earlier than Mad Men to 1956, when TV was still largely in its infancy.

Dominic West, the British actor who made his name in cult TV hit The Wire as Baltimore cop McNulty, will star as the news show’s upper crust, charismatic anchor man Hector Madden.

Ben Whishaw will play outspoken journalist Freddie Lyon while Garai will play the show’s boss Bel Rowley.

The trio’s complex relationship forms a love triangle at the heart of the show

The BBC said the “the interplay and intense ambitions between our rising news team play out against the backdrop of a mysterious murder and Freddie’s controversial and dangerous investigation”.

BBC drama commissioner Ben Stephenson said: “The combination of Ben Whishaw as Freddie, Romola Garai as Bel and Dominic West as Hector gives us one of the most exciting casts for a British TV series in years.

“Our trio crackle with sexual frisson and will bring 1950s London to life with style and complexity thanks to Abi Morgan’s breathtaking scripts.”

Also in the cast for the series are Tim Pigott-Smith, Juliet Stevenson, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Anna Chancellor who plays hard-drinking foreign correspondent Lix.

Writer Morgan’s previous acclaimed shows have included White Girl, Sex Traffic and the film adaptation of Brick Lane.

Filming for the series begins today in and around London for the next three months. It is due to be screened next year.

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