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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Silk: introduction

Rupert Penry-Jones and Maxine Peake in Silk

Maxine Peake (Criminal Justice), Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks), Neil Stuke (Reggie Perrin), Natalie Dormer (The Tudors) and Tom Hughes (Sex, Drugs And Rock And Roll), star in Silk,a thrilling new drama series for BBC One about the lives, loves and hard cases facing barristers on the front line of criminal law, written by BAFTA award-winning writer Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice, North Square).

Silk is a big, bold, fast-paced insight into the world of the criminal Bar, showing legal eagles at work and play.

Maxine Peake is Martha Costello, mid-thirties, single, passionate, a defence barrister applying for silk. Martha is faced with challenging cases and surprising clients. Her beliefs and prejudices, her conscience and her faith in the criminal justice system are tested to the limit over the course of the series.

Former barrister Peter Moffat makes a return to BBC One, providing an insider's view into this exciting, morally complex, highly charged world.

Peter says: "Silk is based on my experience of life at the Bar. The extreme pressure, the hard choices, the ethical dilemmas, the overlap between the personal and the professional, principles fought for and principles sacrificed, the Machiavellian politics, the sex, the drinking, the whole story – life at the Bar is the richest possible drama territory."

Clive Reader, played by Rupert Penry-Jones, is funny, gifted and dangerous. He's the same age as Martha and they are called to the Bar together. Both are applying for silk – how they perform in court is vital to this process and Clive knows how to play the game.

Neil Stuke plays Billy Lamb, Senior Clerk in chambers. He's a man of many parts, lots of contradictions, and has the lives and careers of his barristers under his control. He is dedicated to Martha – he loves her straight talking and lack of guile – even if secretly he believes that she hasn't got a chance of being made a QC.

Nick Slade, played by Tom Hughes, is Martha's pupil. Niamh Cranitch, played by Natalie Dormer, is Clive's pupil. Both are thrown in at the deep end and as 'baby barristers' must sink or swim. Stand up in court and show you can cut it. Or forget about making it at the Bar. Only one pupil will be taken on as a member of chambers at the end of the series. Who will it be and why? How will Martha and Clive influence the outcome?

Notes to Editors

Silk is also being simulcast on BBC One HD on Freesat channel 108, Freeview channel 50, Sky channel 143 and Virgin Media channel 108.

The new BBC One HD channel will simulcast a network version of the BBC One schedule, with the majority of peaktime programmes in HD, including The Apprentice, Strictly Come Dancing, Children In Need, Antiques Roadshow, Countryfile, The Graham Norton Show and The Royal Variety Show.

GJ

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