The BBC has unveiled their latest original drama slate. The six new commissions, which were unveiled yesterday during a virtual event, include: an adaptation of Everything I Know About Love; Cash Carraway, which is inspired by her memoir; an adaptation of Wahala; an adaptation of The Gallows Pole; as well as original dramas from Candice Carty-Williams and Stefan Golaszewski.
Additionally, during said event the BBC’s Director of Drama Piers Wenger revealed that following the success of I May Destroy You, the BBC is developing another project with Michaela Coel. “I am incredibly proud of drama on the BBC and how its popularity, range and ambition is being recognised by viewers and critics alike. Seeing Small Axe, I May Destroy You and Normal People receive a record number of BAFTA nominations and Line of Duty becoming the biggest drama of the 21st Century is staggering and humbling”, he said.
“We pride ourselves on the creative contribution we make and the value we offer to audiences. We will continue to build on the momentum of recent years to ensure that the BBC is and continues to be the home of the very best of British drama”, Wenger conitnued. “In 2021, there are many places for audiences to access premium content. But it is our commitment to creative risk and our passion for Britain’s stand-out writing talent which ensures that even in the age of global streamers, we are able to win big.”
Everything I Know About Love tells the story of Maggie and Birdy, besties since school, who finally land in London to live it large, when the unexpected happens – dependable Birdy gets a steady boyfriend. Dolly Alderton, who penned the novel on which the series is based, will write the adaptation. Working Title Television is producing. The executive producers are Jo McClellan for the BBC, Dolly Alderton, and Surian Fletcher-Jones, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for Working Title Television.
“Everything I Know About Love is a semi-fictionalised adaptation of my memoir of the same name”, writer and executive producer Dolly Alderton said in a statement. “It’s a messy, boisterous, joyful, romantic comedy about two best female friends from childhood and what happens when they move in to their first London house share and the first phase of adulthood. I cannot stress enough how thrilled I am that it is being made by Working Title and the BBC.”
Cash Carraway is described as a wild and punky tale of being trapped below the poverty line and doing everything it takes to escape. The drama follows a young working class single mum (Daisy May Cooper) living with her ten year old daughter in the brutal lonely landscape of austerity Britain. It is inspired by Carraway’s memoir Skint Estate and is being produced by Sid Gentle Films. The executive producers are Jo McClellan, Sally Woodward Gentle and Lee Morris.
“The show is a about a brash yet intelligent working-class single mum who not only lives in extreme inner-city poverty but a state of ridicule and humiliation as she attempts to improve her life. She’s immoral and shocking and purposefully vile, and swaggerous and quite amazing really – but obviously I would say that as it’s inspired by my life!”, Carraway said. “Luckily the role will be played by the brilliant Daisy May Cooper who I know will give her warmth and humour and a performance that says “f-you” to the expectations of how women perceived to be at the bottom of society are expected to behave.”
Wahala follows three thirty-something Anglo-Nigerian female friends living in London, successfully navigating a world that mixes roast dinners with jollof rice. Simi, Ronke and Boo have been best friends for years, sharing every aspect of their careers, family lives and relationships with one another. But when the beautiful, charismatic and super wealthy Isobel infiltrates their friendship group, mounting tensions, unravelling bonds and unearthed secrets have shocking and tragic consequences. The drama seres, which is based on the upcoming novel by Nikki May, is being penned by Theresa Ikoko. Firebird Pictures is producing, with Mona Qureshi and Elizabeth Kilgarriff serving as executive producers.
“I can’t wait to bring Nikki May’s amazing book Wahala to the screen with BBC and Firebird. It is a fantastic, intriguing, suspenseful story of friendship, rivalry secrecy and revenge, think Big Little Lies meets Girlfriends meets Peckham!”, said Theresa Ikoko in a statement. “It’s also a really amazing celebration of Nigerian British culture, which I’m a proud flag-bearer of, so it’s going to be a lot of the correct jollof rice, awe-inspiring geles and breath-taking moments, we hope you love it!”
The Gallows Pole fictionalises the remarkable true story of the rise and fall of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners. Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in eighteenth century Yorkshire, the drama follows the enigmatic David Hartley, as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history. Shane Meadows is penning the adaptation, which is being produced by Element Pictures.
“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”, Shane Meadows said in a statement. “I’ve never made a period drama before so I’m absolutely buzzing, and to be doing it with Piers at the BBC, his incredible team, and Element Pictures is nothing short of an honour.”
Champion tells the story of what happens when fame collides with family. Bosco Champion. The golden boy of the Champion family and a UK rap sensation before he was jailed is home from prison, and he’s ready to dominate the music industry once more. Since she can remember, his younger sister Vita has been his personal assistant, running around after him, getting him out of trouble and hiding his various misdemeanours. But when Vita’s own talent is discovered by Bosco’s rival, Belly, she steps out of her brother’s shadow to become a performer in her own right, setting the Champion siblings against one another in their quest to both reach the top spot in the charts, and to be the star of the family.
Even their parents, soundman turned radio DJ Beres and nineties R&B one hit wonder Aria, can’t stop Bosco and Vita from splitting the Champion family down the middle as they go head to head in a very public and messy battle. In fact, it might be in their best interests to keep Bosco and Vita apart. The drama series is being penned by Candice Carty-Williams and is being produced by Balloon Entertainment and New Pictures. The executive producers are Jo McClellan, Bryan Elsley, Dave Evans, Danielle Scott-Haughton, Charlie Pattinson, Willow Grylls and Imogen O’Sullivan. In addition to Candice Carty-Williams, other writers include: Isis Davis, Emma Dennis-Edwards, Ameir Brown and Edem Wornoo.
Marriage is a four-part drama about a couple who need each other. The series examines in intimate detail the fears, frustrations and salvation of marriage and the comfort that can only be found in togetherness. The four-parter is set up at The Forge and is being penned by Stefan Golaszewski. The executive producers are Tommy Bulfin, Beth Willis, George Faber, Richard Laxton and Stefan Golaszewski. “Marriage is a show about a couple but there’s more to it than that obviously!”, Stefan Golaszewski said in a statement. “It’s great to be working with the BBC again. They’ve been amazing during the development of the idea and encouraged me to write what I want to write. It feels like a real privilege.”