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Walter Now

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 10 January 2009

by David Cook. In 1982 Channel 4 launched with "Walter", directed by Stephen Frears and starring Ian McKellen as a man with learning difficulties. More than 25 years later award-winning writer David Cook brings us up to date with Walter's life and Ian McKellen recreates his extraordinary performance.

Walter.....Ian McKellen
Steph.....Becky Hindley
Mr Herd.....Malcolm Tierney
Mary.....Anna-Marie Heslop
Bernard.....Robert Londsdale
Terry.....Gunnar Cauthery
Tom.....Edmund Davies
Mrs Hall.....Jill Cardo
Boy.....Ceallach Spellman

Director Claire Grove

In November 1982, a Channel 4 launched with "Walter" by David Cook, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Ian McKellen as a man with learning difficulties. It was an outstandingly truthful social commentary, heartbreaking and thought provoking. More than 25 years later award-winning writer David Cook brings us up to date with Walter's life in 'Walter Now' and Sir Ian McKellen recreates his extraordinary performance.

Walter is now a pensioner. Following the death of his mother Walter spent many years living in a psychiatric hospital. When that was closed down he moved to hostel accommodation where he is isolated and lonely. When his support worker hears of a house share with three others he suggests Walter. But Walter is twice the age of the rest. Will they accept him? Will he cope with independent living? Will they integrate with the community around them?

Sir Ian McKellen is best known for Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings. Other recent films include The Da Vinci Code and The X-Men. His portrayal of King Lear for the RSC in 2006-7 was much acclaimed and was released on DVD in January 2009.

David Cook is a stage and television actor who began to write novels in the early 1970s.

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