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Channel 4 commissions Hawking biopic from DSP

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Channel 4 Senior Commissioning Editor David Glover has commissioned the first ever autobiographical documentary about theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking from Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP).

The documentary, which is a co-production with PBS, is directed and produced by Stephen Finnigan, the executive producers are Ben Bowie, David Glover and Beth Hoppe. The film will be distributed in cinemas in the UK and Eire by Vertigo Films and will be shown later on Channel 4.

Hawking is the extraordinary and dramatic story of the planet’s most famous living scientist, told for the first time in his own words and by those closest to him. Made with unique access to Hawking’s private life, this is an intimate and moving journey into Stephen Hawking's world, both past and present.

Interviewees include Stephen Hawking’s sister Mary, his ex-wife Jane, carers and students, as well as colleagues including Roger Penrose, plus Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Jim Carey, and Sir Richard Branson.

An inspirational portrait of an iconic figure, Hawking relates his incredible personal journey from boyhood underachiever, to scientific genius and multi-million selling author. And it charts how he overcame being diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease – and being given just two years to live – to make amazing scientific discoveries and become an icon of triumph over adversity.

Chanel 4’s Senior Commissioning Editor David Glover said: “It’s a story that most of us have been aware of over the years, and so one kind of forgets how extraordinary it is. In this film he tells us the story of his life – making it the definitive film about Hawking. He does it in a rather understated, modest, British way – which makes it all the more moving. I think it’s a film that people will still be watching a hundred years from now.”

Executive Producer and Creative Director at DSP, Ben Bowie, said: “We are honored to have had the opportunity to film and capture the most intimate details of Stephen Hawking’s life. Through Hawking’s own words, as well as those closest to him, viewers have an opportunity to get a fresh perspective on one of the greatest scientists of our time.”

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