The BBC has commissioned Grenfell, a forthcoming drama from Peter Kosminsky to be made by The Forge, about the 2017 fire at Grenfell Tower in West London which killed 72 people, impacted the lives of thousands more, and left a community grieving in its wake.

The drama will draw on over five years of research – taking in public sources, the inquiry hearings, and extensive interviews conducted by writer-director Kosminsky and associate producer Ahmed Peerbux – to give a comprehensive account of the events leading up to, during, and after the devastating fire which took place on 14 June 2017.

Told from multiple perspectives, the three-part series will shine a light on the human stories of those caught up in the tragedy, exploring the profound impact of Grenfell on survivors, the families and loved ones of those whose lives were lost, the firefighters on duty that night, and the wider community.

Writer and director Peter Kosminsky says: “Occasionally, events occur in our national story which touch us all. The fire at Grenfell Tower is such an event. We remember what we were doing when we heard about it, remember the pictures, the saturation coverage. And yet, despite this, despite the many newspaper pages and TV hours devoted to the story, we may be left with a less than clear sense of exactly what happened, what went wrong. In our drama, we attempt to pick our way through hours of public testimony, as well as original interviews conducted by our team, to reach the heart of this catastrophe: how such a thing can have happened; how we can avoid it ever happening again.”

Associate producer Ahmed Peerbux says: “We have been working on this drama for more than five years now, and it is only right that such a terrible event, seared into the national psyche, should be approached with rigour and not rushed. We are immensely grateful to the men and women who have shared their stories with us, and let us into their lives – we couldn’t possibly hope to honour their experiences without the time and trust they have given us.”

Lindsay Salt, director of BBC Drama says: “Grenfell was a tragedy that touched the entire nation, and is one of the most significant and devastating events in our recent history. In the trusted hands of Peter, Ahmed, and their dedicated team, Grenfell will utilise drama’s unique ability to sensitively and respectfully show the human side of what happened, and to offer a response to some of the many unanswered questions that remain.”

Mark Pybus, executive producer for The Forge, says: “I can think of no better combination to make this essential drama than Peter Kosminsky and the BBC. Peter, with his peerless reputation for truth telling, will honour the lives of those impacted by the fire but also will draw out the vital lessons that need to be learned if a further tragedy is to be avoided.”

Grenfell (3×60’) will be made by The Forge for BBC One and iPlayer, and is written and directed by the BAFTA winning director and screenwriter Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall, The Undeclared War, The State, The Government Inspector). The series’ associate producer will be Ahmed Peerbux, and executive producers are Peter Kosminsky, Mark Pybus for The Forge, and Lucy Richer for the BBC.


Pippa Considine

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