Steve McQueen to make BBC drama

steve mcqueen Steve McQueen said his new drama would be "epic in scope"

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British director Steve McQueen has revealed that he is making a drama for the BBC.

His critically-acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave, released in the UK on Friday, is currently tipped for Oscar success and could make him the first black film-maker to win best director.

He told the Daily Mail that the BBC drama will focus on black people living in London from 1968 to the present day, adding it will be "epic in scope".

But he resisted describing it as a "black Our Friends in the North", referring to the Bafta-winning BBC Two serial, which starred Daniel Craig, Gina McKee, Christopher Eccleston and Mark Strong as a group of Newcastle friends from the 1960s to 1990s.

"I don't think there has been a serious drama series in Britain with black people from all walks of life as the main protagonists," he said, adding that he would explore the subject "with an unblinking eye".

He will work on the idea with a writer over the next year and will gather actors for workshops to help develop the programme, which is being made with Rainmark Films.

Award nominations

BBC Drama controller Ben Stephenson said: "It is too early to announce the details, but it is incredibly exciting to be working with the hugely talented British director who has rapidly become one of the finest directors in the world."

McQueen, who was born in west London, has been nominated for a Bafta and Golden Globe for his direction of 12 Years a Slave, which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Cumberbatch, and is expected to gain an Oscar nomination next week.

He first found fame as a video artist, winning the Turner Prize in 1999, and now lives in Amsterdam.

His mainstream movie career began with 2008's Hunger about the Northern Irish hunger strikers, followed by 2011 sex addiction film Shame - both starring Michael Fassbender, who also appears as a sadistic slave-owner in 12 Years a Slave.

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