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“Stranger Things” star Charlie Heaton will take the lead in the BBC’s new two-part drama “The Elephant Man,” the U.K. public broadcaster announced Wednesday. Heaton will star as Joseph Merrick, and the show will span two 90-minute episodes to air on flagship channel BBC One in 2019.
Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, also announced a trio of new drama series from female writers. The new commissions see dramas for BBC One and BBC Two from BAFTA winners Nicole Taylor and Michaela Coel. Oscar-nominated Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson will direct an adaptation of author Sally Rooney’s “Normal People.”
Taylor - BAFTA - Year - Miniseries - Three
Taylor, who won a BAFTA this year for best miniseries with “Three Girls,” will write six-part thriller “The Nest” for BBC One. Exploring the consequences of a pact between a wealthy couple and a teenage girl that changes all of their lives forever, “The Nest” is produced by Studio Lambert. Susan Hogg will executive producer for Studio Lambert alongside Lucy Richer for the BBC.
Coel, who was set to give the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival on Wednesday night, will write drama “Jan 22nd” for BBC Two. Wenger said the drama would be “must-see TV for anyone with an interest in modern gender politics or anyone who is struggling to get to grips with the new rules of sex and dating.”
Coel - BAFTA - Television - Award - Performance
Coel won a 2016 BAFTA Television Award for best female performance in a comedy program for “Chewing Gum,” which also scored her a best scripted comedy nomination. “Jan 22nd” will be produced by Various Artists Ltd. in co-production with FALKNA Productions. Coel will serve as executive producer for FALKNA alongside Phil Clarke for Various Artists and Wenger for BBC Two.
Abrahamson will direct Rooney’s adaptation of her own novel “Normal People” for digital channel BBC Three. The show, which will be produced by Element...
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"Tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." C.S. Lewis