ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill has commissioned espionage drama, Secret Service, written by ITV News anchor, Tom Bradby.

The drama, adapted from Bradby’s novel of the same title, is billed as a “suspenseful, fresh-from-the-headlines story deeply rooted in today’s political landscape.”

Bradby has collaborated with fellow screenwriter, Jemma Kennedy, (Captain Webb) to write the series which will premiere on ITV1 and ITVX. The show is produced by Potboiler Productions.

Secret Service delves into the long-standing tensions between Russia and the UK, and asks how far can Russian interference in British politics really go?

Polly Hill has commissioned the five-part series alongside Senior Drama Commissioner, Helen Ziegler, who will oversee production of the drama on the broadcaster’s behalf.

Commented Helen Ziegler: “We are delighted to be working with Tom, Jemma and the team at Potboiler to bring this story of a new cold war to our screens. Tom and Jemma’s thrilling scripts could not be more timely in their exploration of this complex cat-and-mouse game between East and West.”

Secret Service follows senior MI6 officer, Kate Henderson, whose life must seem pretty ordinary to those who don’t know her well, as she’s happily married with two teenagers and a job in the civil service.

However, Kate’s real job is heading up the Russia Desk of the Secret Intelligence Service. When her undercover operations reveal alarming evidence that a senior UK politician is possibly a high-level Russian asset, Kate is in a race against time to uncover their identity.

Then a young woman is brutally murdered, throwing Kate and her team into the spotlight. With blood on her hands, her reputation to uphold, her family hanging by a thread, and an election looming, Kate is quickly running out of options and the clock is ticking….

Bradby has written a series of crime novels and also has television drama The Great Fire and the film Shadow Dancer (also adapted from his eponymous novel) amongst his credits.

Commented Tom Bradby: “I always dreamed of turning Secret Service into a compelling and enthralling TV series, so I am completely thrilled that ITV have commissioned this series and can’t wait to be on set in London and Malta. I felt the themes were achingly topical when I wrote the novel – and they have only become more so since.”

Set in London, and moving between European locations, Secret Service, is produced by Potboiler Productions with filming commencing in London and Malta early next year.

Gail Egan (Funny Woman, A Most Wanted Man, The Little Stranger) and Andrea Calderwood (Funny Woman, The Buccaneers, The Boy who harnessed the Wind) will executive produce the series for Potboiler Productions.

The drama will be produced in association with All3Media International who will handle the international distribution of the series.

Potboiler is led by producing partners Andrea Calderwood and Gail Egan, who have produced over 60 international award-winning feature films and TV series. Notable past projects include the Oscar and BAFTA award-winning films The Last King of Scotland and The Constant Gardener and David Simon’s Emmy-winning HBO series, Generation Kill.

Commented Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood: “It is very exciting to be working with Polly and Helen at ITV on this thrilling story of espionage and politics. Tom and Jemma have created a bold and compelling drama that looks behind the curtain at the real world of modern-day spies and the machinations happening in the corridors of power which affect us all.”

Tom Bradby is represented by film and TV agents Valerie Hoskins Associates Ltd and literary agent Mark Lucas of The Soho Agency.

Jon Creamer

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