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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Hattie, a new drama for BBC Four

Award-winning actress and comedy writer Ruth Jones (Gavin & Stacey, Tess Of The D'Urbervilles) is lined up to play larger-than-life Carry On actress Hattie Jacques in a new BBC Four drama, Hattie.

Written by Stephen Russell (Garrow's Law, Shameless) and directed by Dan Zeff (Consuming Passion, Lost In Austen), Hattie is a bittersweet true-life drama about a very English love triangle and a celebration of an extraordinary icon of UK comedy.

Ruth Jones says: "Hattie Jacques is a comedy heroine of mine and I'm thrilled to have been asked to play her. She was an incredibly talented and fascinating woman both on and off screen and so much more than just the 'funny fat lady'. I can't wait!"

Angel Eye Media, a Glasgow-based independent production company, will produce the one-off film, which reveals Hattie's secret affair with a younger man while married to Dad's Army star John Le Mesurier in the early 60s; a hot-blooded romance in stark contrast to the matronly roles that made her famous.

The drama's producers are Richard Osborne and Seb Barwell along with Executive Producer John O'Callaghan for Angel Eye Media.

"It's a pleasure for Angel Eye to work on this project. Hattie was a great comedy star of her generation and it's a joy to bring this warm and generous character to life in Stephen Russell's superb script," says Richard Osborne, Hattie producer and Managing Director, Angel Eye Media.

Hattie was co-commissioned by Cheryl Taylor, BBC Controller of Comedy Commissioning and Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning. Executive Producers are Jemma Rodgers, Executive Editor, Comedy, BBC Scotland and Anne Mensah, BBC Head of Independent Drama & Drama Scotland.

"The drama has a wonderfully warm heart and takes us behind the scenes of the public face of Hattie Jacques to reveal her unconventional but very modern relationships," says Jemma Rodgers, Executive Producer.

Hattie will begin filming in Glasgow at the end of May and will broadcast on BBC Four later this year.

Notes to Editors

Starting her career in the 1940s, Hattie Jacques first gained attention through her radio appearances with Tommy Handley on It's That Man Again and later with Tony Hancock on Hancock's Half Hour.

From 1958 to 1974 she appeared in fourteen Carry On films, often playing the Matron.

She had a long professional partnership with Eric Sykes, with whom she co-starred in his long running television series, Sykes.

She also starred in two Norman Wisdom films, The Square Peg and Follow A Star.

Hattie Jacques was married to John Le Mesurier from 1949 until their divorce in 1965.

Her final appearance on television was an advertisement for Asda in 1980. She died later that year from a heart attack.


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