“IT is an incredible undertaking to take on something as epic as this.”
The Great Fire executive producer Douglas Rae talking to me on location in Greenwich.
Filming scenes that day in the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College – one of the finest rooms in the world.
The next time we meet is somewhere in the countryside near Henley.
Where 1666 London and the River Thames have been re-created for the screen, along with the flames that will destroy a huge part of the city.
TWO sons. Two mothers.
“I thought they were going for a pizza…”
If you have plans for Sunday night, cancel them now.
Common (BBC1, 9pm Sunday) is yet another classic drama by writer Jimmy McGovern.
Matched by the talents of a cast including Nico Mirallegro, Susan Lynch, Daniel Mays and Jodhi May, plus director David Blair.
The 90-minute film tells the story of Johnjo O’Shea, played by Nico, who gives his cousin and two mates a lift to get a pizza.
But Johnjo is unaware his three passengers are going to “have a word” with a local loudmouth.
As he sits outside waiting in the car for his pizza, one of the trio takes offence to a young innocent bystander and stabs him.
The second of my ITV Drama Press Pack interviews:
“If there was ever a story that typified that crime doesn’t pay, this would be it,” says Daniel Mays.
“It’s a controversial story. Ronnie Biggs divides opinion, even to this day. To some he represents a folk hero. But others said, ‘Lock him up and throw away the key.’
“My biggest challenge is to test people’s pre-conceived ideas of who he is. It’s such an incredible story and it merits being told.”
I’ve been lucky enough this summer to write the interviews for four ITV Drama press packs – otherwise known as production notes.
One of the projects was Mrs Biggs, a superb five-part series which begins on ITV1 at 9pm on Wednesday September 5 with a 90 minute opening episode.
Back in February I interviewed the real Mrs Biggs – Charmian – who acted as a consultant on the drama.
And followed that with later interviews involving Sheridan Smith, who plays her on screen, Daniel Mays (Ronnie Biggs) plus writer and executive producer Jeff Pope.
CHARMIAN Brent is a remarkable woman with quite a story to tell.
She’s known to the world as Charmian Biggs, the wife of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs.
The couple divorced in 1976 and she has continued to live in Australia.
But to many their lives remain entwined.
Now ITV are to tell the story in detail from Charmian’s perspective for the first time.
Today it was officially confirmed that Sheridan Smith will play the title role in five-part drama Mrs Biggs.