Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Award-winning actor John Hurt to star in ghostly tale for Christmas on BBC Two

John Hurt, one of Britain's most esteemed and prolific actors stars as James Parkin, in Whistle And I'll Come To You, the story of a man's encounter with an apparition on a desolate British beach and how this haunting begins to hound him.

Whistle And I'll Come To You, written by Neil Cross (Luther) and made by BBC Drama Production is a modern adaptation of the evocative Edwardian ghost story Oh Whistle And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M R James, which delves into themes of ageing, hubris and the supernatural, adding a terrifying psychological twist in the tale.

John Hurt says: "Oh Whistle And I'll Come To You, My Lad is M R James' most famous ghost story and I'm thrilled to be involved in this contemporary re- working of it, particularly as I've never done a ghost story before and I love to have new territory to walk. It's also a great pleasure to be working with the BBC again."

Neil Cross adds: "For reasons I don't quite understand, I always enjoyed tales that terrified me. I grew up loving ghost stories, classic and modern. But I never got to tell a ghost story... until the BBC offered me the opportunity.

"Whistle And I'll Come To You is a contemporary re-telling of one of the greatest, most beloved tales of the supernatural ever told. With the flawless casting of John Hurt and Gemma Jones, it aims to break the heart as it chills the soul."

Directed by Andy de Emmony (West Is West, God On Trial), the one off drama will be a cinematic, moody, poignant and unsettling spooky addition to the Christmas schedules, taking its lead from L'Orfanto, The Shining and Japanese horror movies.

Filming begins at the end of October in and around South East England. Kate Harwood and Ben Evans (Desperate Romantics, Money) will executive produce and Claire Armspach (Waking The Dead) will produce.

Kate Harwood, Controller, Series & Serials says: "BBC Drama Production is happy to be bringing together such a talented team to contribute a bit of a fright to the Christmas festivities."

Gemma Jones (Harry Potter, Spooks) and Lesley Sharp (Doctor Who, Little Voice) will also star.

Whistle And I'll Come To You was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two and Ben Stephenson, BBC's Controller of Drama Commissioning.

Notes to Editors

John Hurt has carved out an international career as a consummate screen chameleon appearing in over 100 films. He emerged from the London drama stage to film stardom in the late Seventies with a pair of powerhouse performances in Midnight Express (1978) and Alien (1979) and his unforgettable role of John Merrick in The Elephant Man (1980). More recently he reprised his role of Quentin Crisp in An Englishman In New York, also starring in Harry Potter and Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, picking up three Baftas and two Oscar nominations on the way.


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