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29 October 2014
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Our Hidden Lives
Sarah Parish in Our Hidden Lives

Sarah Parish, Ian McDiarmid, Richard Briers And Lesley Sharp star in Our Hidden Lives for BBC FOUR



Sarah Parish, Ian McDiarmid, Richard Briers and Lesley Sharp star in Our Hidden Lives, the drama that is the centrepiece of BBC FOUR's forthcoming The Lost Decade season.


Based on the best-selling book by award-winning writer Simon Garfield, Our Hidden Lives skilfully weaves the real-life diaries of four ordinary people, confronting the uncertain years following the Second World War in a wonderful and evocative patchwork.


Says Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC FOUR: "Simon Garfield's book perfectly captures the atmosphere of the post-war years and through David Eldridge's adaptation - and this wonderful cast - I'm delighted that we can bring Our Hidden Lives to a television audience as part of The Lost Decade season."


The diaries of 'ordinary' people were compiled for the Mass Observation Project, a remarkable programme which began in the Thirties, described as 'an anthropology of ourselves', where more than 1,000 people volunteered to chronicle their daily lives.


In his book, Garfield selected some of the most expressive diarists, and focused on the post-war years from 1945 to 1948 - giving a vivid portrait of how Britain coped in the post-war years and how little, or how much, attitudes have changed over the past 60 years.


Four main stories emerge. Sarah Parish (Cutting It, Much Ado About Nothing) stars as Maggie Joy Blunt, a thoroughly modern young woman, a post war Bridget Jones in her mid-thirties, bored out of her mind working as a publicity assistant in a metal company in Slough.


Ian McDiarmid (The Emperor in the Stars Wars films) plays B Charles, a gay antiques dealer who lives in Edinburgh, an horrific snob who is terrified of being exposed.


Lesley Sharp (Vera Drake, From Hell, The Full Monty), plays Edie Rutherford, a proud socialist and a sanctimonious Sheffield housewife who is always arguing with her hairdresser.


Richard Briers (Dad, Monarch of the Glen) plays Herbert Brush, a widowed retired electrical engineer, dividing his time between his allotment and the British Museum Reading Room. Forever creosoting his garden fence, Herbert is also the author of ambitious but appalling poetry.


"I love these diaries. They are real stories... better than any novel," said Margaret Forster.


Our Hidden Lives is a Diverse production, adapted by award-winning playwright David Eldridge and produced and directed by Michael Samuels. Richard Fell is executive producer for the BBC and Roy Ackerman is executive producer for Diverse.



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