Jimmy McGovern returns to BBC One with drama about Liverpool teenager killed in racist attack

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

Jimmy McGovern is to return to BBC One with a new drama focusing on a Liverpool teenager who was murdered in a racist attack 15 years ago.

Anthony (1x90'), which tells the story of Anthony Walker, is written by multi-Bafta-winning McGovern (Hillsborough, The Street, Cracker) and made by LA Productions.

Anthony was murdered in an unprovoked attack on July 29th 2005 in Huyton, Merseyside, for which Michael Barton and Paul Taylor were subsequently jailed for life.

McGovern's drama has been inspired by conversations with Gee Walker, Anthony's mother, and will star Toheeb Jimoh (The Power, Ted Lasso) in the lead role, with Rakie Ayola (Shetland, Noughts + Crosses) as Gee Walker.

Anthony will star Toheeb Jimoh in the lead role

Gee Walker said: “I went to Jimmy because I couldn't think of anyone more suited who could depict, highlight and draw attention to the hard messages of a life not lived - Anthony's unfilled dreams, his potentials and the many lives he would have impacted on - which now will never be realised.”

McGovern added: “I'd known Gee Walker for many years and every time I had needed to write about loss or grief I had gone to her and she had always been generous with her time and her profound wisdom. But one day SHE came to ME and asked me to write about her beloved Anthony. I said, "Gee, if you're asking such a thing, I feel I have a God-given duty to do it." And so I did it.”

Anthony will be directed by Terry McDonough (Cold Feet, An Adventure In Space And Time, The Street) and produced by Donna Molloy and Colin McKeown. Executive Producers are Colin McKeown for LA Productions, Lucy Richer for BBC One, and Jimmy McGovern. Anthony was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content. The film will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios.

Anthony was filmed in and around Liverpool and is the sixth collaboration between LA Productions, Jimmy McGovern and BBC One, following Care, Broken, Reg, Common, and ten series of BBC Daytime's Moving On.

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