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29 October 2014
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Africa Lives On The BBC
The Girl in the Cafe

Africa Lives On The BBC

The Girl in the Café - Saturday 25 June, BBC ONE, 9.15pm



The Girl in the Cafe is a tenderly funny and poignant love story for BBC ONE, commissioned as part of a range of programmes the BBC is making 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.


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 hard-working, shy civil servant, Lawrence, and his life-changing relationship with a mysterious girl whom 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 Millennium Development Goals 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 inevitably entwined.


Richard Curtis is co-founder and vice-chairman of Comic Relief, and a 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 poverty forever.


"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 at that."


The Girl in the Cafe is directed by David Yates (State Of Play, Sex Traffic) who is to direct the fifth Harry Potter film later in the year.


It is made by Tightrope Pictures - the new independent production company of Hilary Bevan Jones (Dad, State Of Play) 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.


The Girl in the Cafe faces perhaps the most important issue of 2005: will this be the year when world powers seriously address the issue of world poverty - once and for all?


The Girl in the Cafe is a passionate plea to everyman - wrapped in a love story, a comedy and a unique drama.

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