Press Office

Thursday 24 Apr 2014

Press Release

The cream of new British talent to star in Paula Milne's epic drama series White Heat for BBC Two

Sam Claflin (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, United), Claire Foy (Little Dorrit, The Promise), Reece Ritchie (Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, Pete Versus Life), Lee Ingleby (Being Human, Inspector George Gently), MyAnna Buring (The Twilight Saga, Any Human Heart), David Gyasi (Red Tails, Murderland) and Jessica Gunning (Law & Order UK, Doctor Who) will star in White Heat, a new semi-autobiographical drama series written by award-winning writer Paula Milne (Endgame, Small Island, The Virgin Queen, The Fragile Heart, The Politician's Wife) and produced by ITV Studios for BBC Two.

Paula Milne says: "Getting the right cast for White Heat was crucial not least because it spans half a century. It means our young cast must age from 18 to early forties when the older cast take over. Our young cast are all riding the crest of their own burgeoning, brilliant careers – like the characters are when we first meet them. It takes more than talent to take us on their epic journey through the decades – it takes insight and extraordinary maturity and they have that too. They all say they are lucky to play such parts. Me, I think we are lucky to have them."

This ambitious series charts the lives of seven friends from 1965 through to the present day. Their relationships; complex, volatile, life affirming and life changing start when they come together as a diverse group of young students to live as flat mates in London's Tufnell Park: rebel with a cause Jack (Claflin), intelligent feminist Charlotte (Foy), fragile beauty Lilly (Buring), medical student Jay (Ritchie), electronics enthusiast Alan (Ingleby), law student Victor (Gyasi) and big-hearted Orla (Gunning).

The series follows them over four decades as their lives, loves and destinies are shaped by the political events of each era – from the death of Churchill, the union strife of the Seventies, the ascendancy of Thatcher, the Falklands, Aids, the end of the Cold War to the present day. Their interwoven personal lives played against the backcloth of these crucial events converge to make them the people they are today.

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning says: "The cream of new British acting talent have been cast to star in Paula Milne's White Heat, an epic story of our times told through the eyes of seven amazing characters, which will continue BBC Two's commitment to original drama in 2012."

Filming will begin next week on location in London. Executive Producers are Kate Bartlett and Paula Milne for ITV Studios and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Elinor Day is Producer and John Alexander (Small Island, Exile) is Director.

White Heat is a truly original piece that continues to signal BBC Two's confident new direction following the re-birth of drama on the channel, commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, Drama Commissioning, and Janice Hadlow, Channel Controller, BBC Two.

CM4/RN

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