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29 October 2014
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The Legend of the Tamworth Two
The Tamworth Two

The Legend of the Tamworth Two


BBC ONE is set to screen a new comedy drama inspired by the real-life adventures of two pigs who notoriously cheated death when they broke out of a Wiltshire abattoir and spent a week on the run in January 1998.

The Legend of the Tamworth Two, which tells the story of the pigs Butch and Sundance, is a co-production between Box TV and Impossible Pictures for BBC ONE.

It stars Kevin Whately (Auf Wiedersehen, Pet), Gerard Horan (London's Burning), Emma Pierson (Charles II), Darren Boyd (Kiss Me Kate) and features Alexei Sayle (Tipping the Velvet) and John Sessions (The Lost Prince).

Written by Jed Mercurio (Cardiac Arrest, Bodies), the film combines live action as well as newly developed computer generated animation overseen by Tim Haines' company Impossible Pictures, whose recent credits include the BBC's award-winning Walking With Dinosaurs.

Although the production is using real pigs, the same special effects that have been used to make animals appear to talk in films such as Cats & Dogs, Stuart Little and Babe are used in this drama.

At the beginning of 1998 two Tamworth pigs escaped from an abattoir in Malmesbury, Somerset. The story became front-page news not just for the local paper which broke it, but for national papers as well as television news programmes across the country.

The Legend of The Tamworth Two is a fictionalised account of what Butch and Sundance got up after their escape and the attempt to recapture them.

After the pigs escape from the local abattoir and go on the run into the neighbouring countryside, the local police become involved as PC Springfield (Darren Boyd) tries to track them down.

When local journalist Jenny Best (Emma Pierson) writes about their daring escape, a whole media circus arrives to help in the search.

As the pigs continue to avoid capture, a hairy villain by the name of Wolf (Kevin Whately) arrives on the scene to snare the pigs and send them back to the abattoir.

For those who want the pigs saved, it's a race against time to rescue them from imminent death.

BBC Executive producer Sally Woodward said: "The film tells how the story of Butch and Sundance became a legend, of how Britain once again took the under-dog to their hearts - or in this instance, the under-pig - and in the process briefly made them the most famous fugitives in the world.

"It also shows how contrary human beings are in their relationship with animals - how we are only too happy to tuck in to a pork chop, but are outraged when we want to capture a pig that has stolen our heart."

Executive producer Justin Thomson-Glover said: "This film is loosely based on what the real Butch and Sundance went through, but we have taken a few liberties with the story - and given the pigs voices."

When the pigs were finally captured, they were bought by a national newspaper and moved to a rare breeds centre in Kent, where they still reside.

In making this film, the production company used eight real Tamworth Pigs which were trained and treated under rules overseen by the RSPCA. No animals were harmed in any way in making the film.

The Legend of the Tamworth Two is directed by Metin Huseyin and was shot on location in England and on the Isle of Man.

The executive producers are Justin Thomson-Glover (Box TV), Tim Haines (Impossible Pictures), Sally Woodward (BBC) and Steve Christian (Isle of Man Film Commission).


The Legend of the Tamworth Two is on BBC ONE on Easter Monday, 12 April 2004, at 6.30pm.


Notes to Editors

BBC Worldwide will also release the drama on video and DVD with additional features including commentaries with director Metin Huseyin and producers Sally Woodward and Lynn Horsford.

The Legend of the Tamworth Two will be available to buy on VHS and DVD from Tuesday 13 April.

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