Steven Knight to create 2 Tone drama in Birmingham

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Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The Selecter were just one of many bands to come from the ska and 2 Tone era

Award-winning writer Steven Knight is to create a new BBC drama series set in the era of ska and 2 Tone music.

Two Tone will tell the story of an extended family and four young people drawn into the scene which grew out of Coventry and Birmingham in the late 70s and early 80s.

Unifying black, white and Asian youths at that time, Knight said the series' soundtrack would be "sensational".

It will start filming later this year at Knight's new Birmingham studios.

The sixth and final series of his hugely successful BBC drama Peaky Blinders, also based in the city, concluded earlier this month.

Image caption,
The drama series will be made at Knight's new Digbeth Loc studios

This new six-part series on BBC One will be set in the West Midlands at a time of "real cultural and historical progression", Karen Wilson, from producers Kudos said.

The music scene - which fused traditional Jamaican ska music with punk - produced bands including The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat and Madness, who went on to cement their place in popular culture.

"This is a project that's literally very close to home and I'm developing characters and themes that are set in the early 80s but hopefully are very contemporary," the Academy Award-nominee and Bafta-winning writer said.

Ben Irving, acting director of BBC Drama said: "Steven has taken his knowledge of this time and place and used it to weave a brilliantly original and characterful drama, set against the musical backdrop of ska and 2 Tone.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring this unique piece to viewers on the BBC."

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