Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

John Simm and Jim Broadbent to play father and son in new BBC One drama, Exile

Two of Britain's finest actors John Simm, and Oscar and Bafta award-winner Jim Broadbent have been cast in a new three-part drama created by Paul Abbott and written by Danny Brocklehurst (The Street, Sorted, Shameless and Clocking Off) made by AbbottVision and Red Production Company for BBC One.

Exile is a psychological thriller that tells an intimate story of prodigal redemption. The serial follows Tom (Simm), who returns to his hometown to be reacquainted with his father (Broadbent) to uncover the truth behind what happened between them years before. But Tom's investigations lead him to expose a mind-blowing scandal, two decades old, that changes their lives forever.

John Simm plays Tom Ronstadt, a successful London journalist whose world has fallen apart and it's all his own doing. With his career and life in ruins he decides to return to his hometown in Lancashire for the first time in 18 years. He finds his father Sam (Jim Broadbent), who Tom idolised as a child, in the grip of Alzheimer's – a once formidable man now being cared for by his younger sister Nancy (Olivia Coleman – Peep Show, Beautiful People).

Over the three episodes Tom unravels the mystery linked to his childhood that drove him away all those years ago. In trying to extract information and encouraging him to remember the past, Tom becomes increasingly frustrated with his father's failure to remember. He persists unaware that he is unearthing a devastating crime that will reveal secrets he could never have imagined.

Shaun Dooley (Single.Married.Other), Timothy West (Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, Bleak House) and Claire Goose (Waking The Dead) will also star. Exile will be directed by John Alexander (Small Island, Sense & Sensibility), produced by Karen Lewis, (Unforgiven, The Chatterley Affair) and executive produced by Nicola Shindler and Paul Abbott.

The BBC executive producer is Sarah Brandist and was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning.

Filming begins today in Manchester on this 3 x 60-minute drama and will transmit next year on BBC One.

John Simm says: "Danny's written a great script, it's a wonderful cast, and I can't wait to start work."

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, says: "Exile is a unique opportunity for the BBC to work with the brilliant Paul Abbott again. This intimate portrayal of a father and son's relationship played by John Simm and Jim Broadbent has been beautifully written by Danny Brocklehurst – a moving and shocking script that will be a real treat for BBC One viewers."

Paul Abbott says: "Creating the series came from looking at the effect events have on families – and how that changes lives forever. Working with John (Simm) again is always a pleasure, he does seem to have turned into a muse of mine, and I'm delighted that we have the calibre of Jim (Broadbent) alongside him. AbbottVision working with Nicola Shindler and Red Production Company again is a thrilling partnership.

"We've made some pretty impressive and successful work together in the past – Clocking Off and Linda Green. There are very few British executives to match her intelligence and standards for producing top-notch screen drama. And of course it's great having writer Danny Brocklehurst on board. We haven't worked together since he joined us on the Shameless team."

Nicola Shindler says: "Exile is a hugely exciting project to be making for BBC One. The combination of intense thriller and beautifully observed family relationships and the chance to work with two of Britain's best actors is a rare opportunity."


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