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Thursday 10 Jul 2014

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The Hour: introduction

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Romola Garai (Crimson, Petal and The White, Atonement), Dominic West (The Wire, The Devil's Whore) and Ben Whishaw (Bright Star, Criminal Justice, Brideshead Revisited) lead an all-star cast on The Hour, a thrilling six-part series which takes viewers behind the scenes of the launch of a topical news programme in London 1956, written and created by Bafta award-winning Abi Morgan (White Girl, Sex Traffic, Brick Lane, Murder) and produced by Kudos Film and Television.

With a highly competitive, sharp-witted and passionate love triangle at the heart of the series, it's through the lives of enigmatic Bel and her rivals, Freddie and Hector, that viewers will witness the decade on the threshold of change – from the ruthless sexual politics behind the polite social façade of the Fifties to the revelations that redefined the world for a new generation. Over the six episodes, the interplay and intense ambitions between our rising news team play out against the backdrop of a mysterious murder and Freddie's controversial and dangerous investigation.

Ben Whishaw plays Freddie Lyon, a brilliant and outspoken journalist, whose passion endlessly lands him in trouble. Getting to the truth of a story can be a dangerous and risky business, and it's Bel, his contemporary and best friend, who is always there to bail him out. For Freddie, Bel is so much more as well – if only he were brave enough to tell her.

Romola Garai plays Bel Rowley, spirited and ambitious, and facing the most exciting and daunting challenge of her life – running The Hour. Can her passion for the truth survive the political pressure the job will bring – and will her friendship with Freddie survive her undeniable attraction to front man Hector?

Dominic West plays Hector Madden, charming, charismatic – a man whose upbringing and education have instilled in him a sense of entitlement, and whose glamorous young wife has the family connections to get him the job as front man on The Hour. But beneath the confident façade Hector has a lot to prove. Bel provides the challenge – and the spark.

The Hour's supporting cast includes Tim Pigott-Smith and Juliet Stevenson as Lord and Lady Elms, Anton Lesser as Clarence Fendley, the BBC's Head of News, Anna Chancellor as Lix, The Hour's brave and maverick hard-drinking foreign correspondent, Julian Rhind-Tutt as Angus McCain, the Prime Minister's eyes and ears, and Oona Chaplin as Marnie Madden, Hector's spoilt beautiful wife.

The Hour is a 6x60 minute drama series, commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning.

Executive producers are Jane Featherstone, Derek Wax and Abi Morgan for Kudos Film and Television and Lucy Richer for the BBC. The producer is Ruth Kenley-Letts (Nativity) and the lead director is Coky Giedroyc (The Nativity, The Virgin Queen).

The Hour marks the latest high-profile drama Kudos has produced for the BBC; other titles include popular and award-winning series such as Spooks, Hustle, Life On Mars, Ashes To Ashes, Occupation and Lip Service.

The Hour further demonstrates BBC Two's commitment to re-establish its reputation as the home of intelligent and ambitious drama reflecting the new strategy and investment for drama on the channel.

The Hour is also simulcast on the award-winning BBC HD channel, available through Freesat channel 109, Freeview channel 54, Sky channel 169 and Virgin Media channel 187.

GJ

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