BBC One has given the green-light to Three Girls, a three-part drama about the Rochdale abuse scandal, TVWise has learned.
Three Girls is based on the experiences of the girls who were groomed in Rochdale in the five years between 2008 and 2012, for which nine men were convicted and sentenced. The drama explores how these girls were groomed, how they were ignored by the authorities directly responsible for protecting them, and how they eventually made themselves heard.
Maxine Peake (Silk) and Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey) lead the cast as two women who were instrumental in getting the girls’ voices heard. Other cast members include Paul Kaye (Game Of Thrones), Lisa Riley (Waterloo Road), Jill Halfpenny (In The Club), Ace Bhatti (Beowulf: Return To The Shieldlands), Olivia Hill (Doctor Who), Ria Zmitrowicz (Mr Selfridge), Molly Windsor (The Unloved), Simon Nagra (No Offence), Qas Hamid (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Wasim Zakir (Four Lions).
The project has been in development at the BBC for the better part of three years and hails from the same team that was behind the award-winning BBC drama Five Daughters. The C Word scribe Nicole Taylor penned the scripts, while Philippa Lowthorpe (Jamaica Inn) is attached to direct. BBC Studios is producing in association with Studio Lambert. Simon Lewis is the series producer. The executive producers are Sue Hogg, Simon Lewis and Hilary Salmon.
“BBC One has the ability to tell challenging and timely stories of national significance. The team behind the award-winning Five Daughters have spent three years talking to the girls, unravelling the shocking scale of abuse, the horror of what they’ve been through and the enormous courage it’s taken for them to speak out”, said the BBC’s Controller of TV Channels and iPlayer Charlotte Moore, who commissioned the three-part drama.
“It’s both a privilege and a responsibility to be allowed to tell this powerful, true story. I have huge respect for the girls and their families for sharing their experiences with us. It’s through their courage in speaking out that we can try to understand the devastating effects of grooming”, added Philippa Lowthorpe. “During the research, not only was it incredibly moving hearing the stories of the girls and their families, but also the experiences of those who fought to protect the girls and bring the perpetrators to justice.”