Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Release

Tim Healy and Denise Welch star in new Radio 5 Live drama about Sir Bobby Robson

The celebrated actor Tim Healy (Auf Wiedersehen Pet) and his wife, the former Coronation Street actor and television presenter, Denise Welch, are to star as husband and wife for the first time as they take on the roles of Sir Bobby and Elsie Robson, in a one-off drama special for BBC Radio 5 Live this month.

Don't Cry For Me, Maradona was commissioned to mark the 25th anniversary of the infamous World Cup quarter-final match between England and Argentina and will be broadcast on 5 Live on Tuesday 21 June.

As friends of the Robson family, Tim and Denise deliver an affectionate portrayal of Bobby and Elsie capturing the support, friendship and love they shared.

The fictional drama is set in the aftermath of Maradona's so-called "Hand of God" goal 25 years ago this month when England missed out on a place in the 1986 World Cup semi-final in Mexico, devastating the team and its manager.

With flashbacks to the match itself, Don't Cry For Me, Maradona examines how one of the real gentlemen of football coped with the agonies and ecstasies of the beautiful game.

Written by Aelish Michael, in consultation with the Robson family, the drama is set in Bobby and Elsie's favourite beauty spot, Hilltop, overlooking Langley Park in County Durham, where they both grew up. It looks at how some of Bobby's childhood experiences and influences helped him cope in the aftermath of a match controversially marred by what he always called "the hand of a rascal".

Commenting on playing the role of Elsie, Denise said: "It was an honour for Tim and I to be asked to play Sir Bobby and Lady Robson. We were both massive fans of Sir Bobby's professional work and it was really lovely for our family to get to know him and Elise personally.

"Our son Louis met Sir Bobby for the first time three days before he passed away and we hold those memories very close to our hearts. I hope the audience enjoys the play as it is wonderfully written and offers a little insight into the love shared between two special people."

On Saturday 25 June Radio 5 Live will also broadcast a special programme dedicated to celebrating the life of Sir Bobby. The Day I Met Sir Bobby Robson features a range of people whose lives were touched in some way by Sir Bobby as they reflect on what meeting him and knowing him, however briefly, meant to them.

The programme includes funny, heart-warming and sometimes very emotional recollections from his childhood, from his early football days, his early days as a coach, from his time at the very top of world football and latterly during his long and brave struggle against cancer.

Don't Cry For Me, Maradona and The Day I Met Sir Bobby Robson are produced by Made In Manchester and are two of several new programmes created for Radio 5 Live by independent producers from across the BBC North region as part of the BBC North Creative Kicker Fund.

Don't Cry for Me, Maradona will be broadcast on Tuesday 21 June at 9.30pm (repeated on 26 June at 6pm) and The Day I Met Sir Bobby Robson on Saturday 25 June at 11am.

You can listen to Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra via digital radio, online, Digital Freeview, Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media and 909 & 693 AM.

Notes to Editors

Don't Cry For Me, Maradona is written by Aelish Michael, who specialises in dramatising real lives and has also written about steeplejack Fred Dibnah, the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and the sculptor Barbara Hepworth. The director is Iain Mackness, the producer is Ashley Byrne and the executive producer is Phil Collinge.

The Day I Met Sir Bobby Robson is produced by Ian McCormick. The executive producer is Ashley Byrne. They are both produced by Made In Manchester for BBC Radio 5 Live.


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