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Drama to explore the impact of historical sex offences


Channel 4 has confirmed the cast for BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne‘s (The Fades, Glue) new drama, National Treasure.

Harry Potter stars Robbie Coltrane (Cracker) and Julie Walters (Indian Summers) will reunite to star in Thorne’s four-part drama exploring the impact of historical sex offences.

Robbie Coltrane 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.

Julie Walters plays Marie, Paul’s wife of over 40 years – 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?

Andrea Riseborough (The Devil’s Whore, Birdman) 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.”

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.”

National Treasure is produced by The Forge and begins filming in February, for broadcast on Channel 4 later in 2016.