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BBC commissions Lions from Sex Education writer

The BBC has today announced 12 new dramas, totalling 66 hours, including a new one from Richard Gadd.

Lions (working title) is set and filmed in and around Glasgow for BBC One, BBC Scotland and BBC iPlayer.

The 6-part drama from writer and performer Gadd (Baby Reindeer, Sex Education) is being made by Banijay UK’s Mam Tor Productions.

It starts are Niall’s estranged ‘brother’ Ruben shows up at his wedding, it leads to an explosion of violence that catapults us back through their lives. 

Spanning almost forty years from the 1980s to the present day, the “ambitious series” will cover the highs and lows of the brothers’ relationship, from them meeting as teenagers to their falling out as adults – with all the good, bad, terrible, funny, angry, and challenging moments along the way. 

“When I first started talking about this project with the wonderful Tally Garner and Morven Reid, it was love at first sight. For them, anyway,” said creator and writer Gadd.

“I kept it purely professional. I am absolutely thrilled to be working with them in bringing Ruben and Niall to the screen alongside Lindsay Salt, Gaynor Holmes, and the incredible BBC team. It is a dream come true to be part of such a historic broadcaster with a reputation for bringing the best comedy and drama (and comedy-drama for that matter) to our screens. A dream which will likely wear off when it comes to tight writing deadlines and rainy shooting days on the streets of Glasgow. Just joking. I have never been happier to work on anything in my life and I would like to thank Tally, Morven, and Gaynor for everything – as well as the inimitable Lindsay Salt who has always been my biggest champion and to whom I will always owe a great debt of gratitude.”

Tally Garner, Executive Producer for Mam Tor productions, added: 

“My fellow exec Morven Reid and I are unbelievably excited to be embarking on the journey of making the extraordinarily multi-talented Richard Gadd’s new show. Richard has that rare gift of creating characters who challenge your senses while stealing your heart, and in Ruben and Niall he has created something very special. We can’t wait to watch as director Alexandra Brodski brings them to life. Enormous thanks to the wonderful Lindsay Salt and Gaynor Holmes for their tireless support, and for allowing Ruben and Niall to steal their hearts too.”

The  6x45minute drama was commissioned by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama. The lead director is Alexandra Brodski (Somewhere Boy, Rivals) and the producer is Wendy Griffin (Limbo, The Lost King). Executive producers are Tally Garner and Morven Reid for Mam Tor Productions, Richard Gadd, and Gaynor Holmes for the BBC with Gavin Smith for BBC Scotland. Lions (w/t) is supported by Screen Scotland, and Banijay Rights will distribute the series internationally.

“We’re delighted to be working with our BBC colleagues and Screen Scotland on this truly innovative drama,” said Louise Thornton, Head of Commissioning for BBC Scotland.

“Richard’s writing for stage and for screen has always been visceral, dynamic and captivating and Lions’ youthful exploration of modern manhood is sexy, sad and shocking in equal measure. BBC Scotland is always looking for distinctive talent and projects to support and in Lions we’ve come on board with something very special.”

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