Jimmy McGovern’s new BBC One prime-time drama, Broken attracts a stellar cast

The Street gave me one of my most rewarding roles and afterwards I promised myself that I would collaborate with Jimmy McGovern again. When the chance came up to work on Broken I jumped at it.Anna Friel
Date: 20.09.2016     Last updated: 20.09.2016 at 10.10
Category: BBC One; Drama; Casting
As filming commences, further casting has been confirmed for Broken (working title), with Anna Friel, Paula Malcolmson, Aisling Loftus and Adrian Dunbar amongst those joining Sean Bean in Jimmy McGovern’s new drama series produced by LA Productions for BBC One. Also joining are Mark Stanley, Muna Otaru, Danny Sapani, Lauren Lyle and Rochenda Sandall in the new 6 x 60’ part series.

As previously announced, Sean Bean will star as Father Michael Kerrigan, a Catholic priest presiding over a Northern urban parish. Modern, maverick, and reassuringly flawed, Father Michael must be confidante, counsellor and confessor to a congregation struggling to reconcile its beliefs with the challenges of daily life in contemporary Britain.

Anna Friel (Marcella) will play Christina Fitzsimmons who lives in the heart of the community with her three children and mother. She works at the local betting shop but, even with her wages and the contribution of her mother’s pension, she's still skint. Christina is intelligent, sharp, and honest but the lack of money pushes her to the very edge.

Anna says: “The Street gave me one of my most rewarding roles and afterwards I promised myself that I would collaborate with Jimmy McGovern again. When the chance came up to work on Broken I jumped at it. Sean is a great actor, it’s a typically brave and truthful script from Jimmy and I'm back up North. It's an important subject and a unique character. I can't wait.”

Paula Malcolmson (Ray Donovan) will play Roz Demichelis whose consuming gambling addiction has led her to a monumental decision that will change the lives of her family forever. Father Michael is the only person she confides in; his dilemma as a priest is that he is both the only person who can help her, and yet he is helpless to do so.

Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty) is Father Peter Flaherty, Father Michael’s confidante and confessor. Calm and collected, Peter knows how to gently probe Michael with questions he knows Michael struggles to answer himself.

Meanwhile Mark Stanley (Dickensian) plays P.C Andrew Powell, a decent family man with good intentions and a calm demeanour who works with the community of St Nick’s. However, after a police incident Andrew is completely torn between his morals and his career. And Muna Otaru (The Keeping Room) plays Helen Oyenusi, a kind-hearted and devoutly Catholic mother who remains strong and graceful despite devastating heartbreak. She becomes a close friend of Michael, fully relying on him in her dark times, unaware of the secrets he has kept from her.

A powerful piece perfectly placed at the home of original British drama, Broken will be produced by Colin McKeown and Donna Molloy for LA Productions, directed by Ashley Pearce and Noreen Kershaw and executive produced by Jimmy McGovern, Colin McKeown and Sean Bean. Lucy Richer is the executive producer for the BBC. Filming begins this week in and around Liverpool.

BBC Worldwide is the international distributor for Broken, making the series available to clients and broadcasters globally.

SJP