The Girl In The Café is a tenderly funny and poignant love story for
BBC ONE as part of a range of programmes the BBC has commissioned to
celebrate Africa in 2005.
Award-winning screenwriter Richard Curtis combines his unique comedic
touch with a powerful humanitarian message in his first film since Love
Actually and his first film for the BBC.
The 90-minute film stars Bill Nighy (Love Actually,
State Of Play) and Kelly MacDonald (Gosford Park, Trainspotting,
State Of Play) and follows the story of a very hard-working, shy civil
servant Lawrence and his life-changing relationship with a mysterious
girl who he meets in a café opposite Downing Street.
He takes her on a romantic mini-break - to the G8 Summit. Set against
the backdrop of a G8 Summit meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, where Lawrence
is one of the British delegation, their gentle love story develops as
world leaders compete for media and political advantage.
While the politicians argue the toss, the crucial Millennium Development
Goals, to halve extreme poverty, are sidelined.
The film follows both the growing love story between two shy outsiders
and the progress of the summit, until the two become dramatically, comically
and tragically entwined.
The cast of this unique drama also includes Ken Stott
(Messiah, Uncle Adolf) as the charismatic Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Anton Lesser as his Chief Adviser and Corin
Redgrave as the Prime Minister.
Richard Curtis is co-founder and vice-chairman of Comic Relief and
member of the Make Poverty History campaign.
He is also the writer of some of the most successful romantic comedies
ever made (Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's
Diary, Love Actually).
For him, this is a passion project which he describes as, "my
first effort to bring the two halves of my life together. When I start
talking about the G8, people either doze off or think I'm talking about
a vegetable drink.
"I wanted to write a film that would give people a chance to understand
what it is, and how this year the G8 could change the face of extreme
"After working with Bill Nighy on Love Actually, I was passionate
to put Bill at the centre of a romantic film - this film is my stab
The Girl In The Café is directed by David Yates (State Of Play, Sex
Traffic) who is to direct the fifth Harry Potter film later in the year.
The film is made by Tightrope Pictures, the new independent production
company of Hilary Bevan Jones and Paul Abbott (writer of State Of Play
and Shameless), in association with HBO Films.
It is produced by Hilary and executive produced by Paul, Julie Gardner
(BBC) and Richard Curtis.
Lorraine Heggessey, Controller of BBC ONE, says: "The Girl in
the Café is a great way to get BBC ONE viewers thinking about the G8
"If anyone can make a romantic comedy about the G8 conference
that engages a mainstream audience, Richard Curtis can."
Filming on location in London and Reykjavik, the drama will be shown
on BBC ONE as part of the BBC's programmes dedicated to Africa this