Helena Bonham Carter is to star as
Maggi, a mother with seven children - three 'normal' daughters and four
sons who are each, in one form or another, autistic - in BBC TWO's uplifting
drama Magnificent 7.
The production is inspired by real life supermum Jacqui
Jackson and her extraordinary children, who were featured in BBC TWO's
documentary, My Family and Autism,
shown in 2003. Jacqui Jackson has worked as a
consultant on the production.
Written by Sandy Welch (North
and South), Magnificent 7 is a warm, poignant and enriching
story which looks at the struggles, tears, laughter and moments of magic
that this surprising household experience over the course of a year.
Helena Bonham Carter said: "I found the script funny,
touching and humane. Hopefully, this film will help people to understand
what it is like to be autistic, and moreover, celebrate rather than
marginalise what it is to be 'different'."
Curtis is supersensitive and allergic to everything,
including Christmas and the colour red. David - with ADHD - is a mini-whirlwind,
creative and destructive in equal measures. Christopher has Asperger's
syndrome and with it a problem with anything that doesn't say exactly
what it means. Richard hates surprises and being jolly.
Producer Deborah Jones said: "We are delighted that
Helena is to portray Maggi, whose determination to do the best for all
her family and her loving and chaotic world is truly uplifting.
"Inspired by the real life Jacqui Jackson, Magnificent
7 will give viewers a truthful insight into her life and those of her
extraordinary children. As a drama, this will be an urban fairytale
- funny, heartbreaking and inspirational."
Roly Keating, Controller of BBC TWO, said: "Helena
Bonham Carter is a stunning signing for this strongly authored single
drama inspired by Jacqui Jackson's incredible story of triumph over
"She will bring poignancy and spirit to this modern
day tale of family life."
Magnificent 7 is currently being filmed in Bolton and
Blackpool and all the children have been drawn from the local area.
It is directed by Kenny Glenaan (Yasmin, The Cops) and
executive producers are Laura Mackie and Richard Stokes.