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David Morrissey's new indie begins shoot for BBC drama

David Morrissey's new indie begins shoot for BBC drama
Pippa Considine
10 January 2014

David Morrissey's new indie Highfield Pictures is starting filming this week on its first production, The Driver for BBC One.

The three-part drama, a co-production with Red, is written by Danny Brocklehurst (Clocking Off, Exile, Accused) and will star Morrissey (The Walking Dead, The Deal, The 7.39) in the lead role.

Commissioned by Charlotte Moore, controller BBC One and Ben Stephenson, controller BBC Drama Commissioning, The Driver is the story of an ordinary man who – because of family mystery, frustration with his job and his life - makes a terrible decision.

David Morrissey stars as taxi driver Vince McKee, Claudie Blakeley (What Remains, The Nightwatch) plays his wife, Ros, and Sacha Parkinson (Coronation Street) as their daughter Katie in BBC One’s brand-new original British drama.

The Driver also stars Ian Hart, acting with David Morrissey for the first time since their breakthrough performance in One Summer, Colm Meaney in his first UK television acting role since police drama Strangers in 1982, plus Shaun Dingwall (Charles II: The Power And The Passion, Above Suspicion) and Lee Ross (Eastenders, Dramarama).

Following a family mystery, Vince blames himself and his inadequacies and, out of the crisis, he accepts an offer to start driving for a criminal gang. But it is ultimately a redemptive story about a man who, under incredible circumstances, gets a second chance.

Writer Danny Brocklehurst says: “The Driver is a passion project for me and I'm proud of the way it is both a character drama and a thriller. As with all my work there is a strong emotional core and it explores ordinary lives pushed into extraordinary situations. I’m thrilled to be making such a powerful drama for BBC One. The majority of my work has been here and as writer you are given incredible authorship, which is a fantastic thing.

"I have always wanted to work with Dave Morrissey, one of the UK's finest actors, and I'm delighted to be finally getting the chance."

The Driver is directed by Jamie Payne (Doctor Who, The White Queen, The Hour). It is produced by Jolyon Symonds and executive produced by David Morrissey for Highfield Pictures. Nicola Shindler is executive producer for Red Productions and Polly Hill, BBC head of independent drama for BBC One.

Charlotte Moore says: “The Driver is a gripping tale of an ordinary life turned upside down and it’s wonderful to announce David Morrissey returning to BBC One after his fine performance in this week’s critically acclaimed hit The 7.39.”

Red Production Company’s Nicola Shindler adds: “This feels unlike any other script we’ve worked on because of the clever combination of real, family human dilemmas tied into high-end thrills.”

Filming starts in and around Manchester this week and will transmit on BBC One later this year.

The Driver will join a raft of new dramas on the channel in 2014, including Kay Mellor’s In the Club, Jamaica Inn by Emma Frost, Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley starring Sarah Lancashire, The Game, First World War drama The Ark by Sarah Phelps, From There To Here by Peter Bowker and Arian Hodges' The Musketeers.

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