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
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
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.