Cast confirmed for Jack Thorne's 4-part drama National Treasure

Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters and Andrea Riseborough will star in NATIONAL TREASURE, BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne’s 4-part drama commissioned by Channel 4. Examining the impact, both public and private, of accusations of historic sexual offences against a fictional much-loved public figure, the series is a timely exploration of truth, memory, trust and family.

BAFTA-winner Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter, Cracker, Tutti Frutti) plays Paul Finchley, one half of a much-loved comedy double act – a cherished household name with a career that spans several decades. He’s not quite as successful as he once was, but nevertheless he’s frequently recognised on the street, affectionately called upon by taxi drivers to repeat his famous catchphrase and is a familiar face in the TV schedules. He’s a bona fide national treasure. But, in the face of accusations of historic sexual offences from the 1990s, the life of this adored comedian begins to unravel.

BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winner Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Mo, Indian Summers, Brooklyn) plays Marie. Married to Paul for over 40 years, Marie is a strong woman who’s supported her husband throughout his career, despite some tough times. As the investigation unfolds, Marie is forced to ask herself – is the man she’s spent her life with different to the man she thought she married?

BAFTA-nominated Andrea Riseborough (The Devil’s Whore, Birdman, Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley) plays Dee, Paul’s daughter. Deeply troubled and a recovering addict, the accusations levelled against her father threatens her recovery, and the public and private fallout from the case compounds the difficulties she her already faces from fragile state of mind.

As the investigation and criminal trial work their way towards a verdict, those closest to Paul must deal with the effects of the investigation. Memories that have become muddied in the intervening four decades are dredged, doubts flourish, loyalties are tested, and truths, half-truths and lies are all exposed.

Jack Thorne, writer, says: “It is truly incredible to work with actors of this extraordinary calibre. I've had such an amazing time in rehearsals watching Marc working with them. I can't wait for shooting to start.”

George Faber, co-executive producer, says: “It’s the quality of Jack Thorne’s script that’s attracted such a stellar cast (Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, Andrea Riseborough). Our drama tackles the complex relationship between celebrity, sex and power and it needed Britain’s finest acting talent to do it justice."

Piers Wenger, Channel 4 Head of Drama, says: “Jack has created three incredibly nuanced characters in Paul, Marie and Dee and I can’t envision anyone better to tackle this challenging and fascinating piece than Robbie, Julie and Andrea. We’re delighted to have such universally respected and distinguished talent on board for this project and I can’t wait to see them bring to life this timely and perceptive drama.”

Filming begins next month and the series will air on Channel 4 later in 2016.

National Treasure was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Channel 4 Head of Drama, with Beth Willis and Roberto Troni. It is written by Jack Thorne, whose previous credits include Glue (E4), The Fades (BBC3), This is England ‘86, ’88, ’90 (Channel 4) and The Last Panthers (Sky). He has also written Hope and Let the Right One In for The Royal Court Theatre as well as the forthcoming Harry Potter play for London’s West End. Produced by new production company The Forge, National Treasure is executive produced by George Ormond (Great Expectations, Emma) and George Faber (Shameless, The Devil’s Whore, Skins, The Village) and produced by John Chapman (The Street, Cracker).

The series is directed by Marc Munden (Utopia, The Devil’s Whore, The Crimson Petal and the White)

About The Forge

This four-part serial is the second Channel 4 commission for production company The Forge Entertainment, which is also making the pre-watershed returning drama series The ABC.

Production Partners

National Treasure is being produced in association with Screen Yorkshire, Lip Sync Productions and the support of the Yorkshire Content Fund and will film in the Yorkshire region. Hugo Heppell will executive produce on behalf of Screen Yorkshire and Norman Merry on behalf of Lip Sync.

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