Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall: I cried at David Tennant and Olivia Colman’s performances

Ahead of the release of the official Broadchurch novel, the creator of the hit ITV drama reveals he sobbed when he saw his script being played out by some talented actors


Last year’s ITV hit Broadchurch was a proper tear-jerker. From Jodie Whittaker’s bereft mother Beth Latimer to the heartbreaking tale of David Bradley’s shopkeeper, right up till (*SPOILER ALERT*) the shocking discovery made by Olivia Colman’s DS Ellie Miller, you were best-advised to have a box of tissues to hand as you tuned in each Monday night. 


But while us folks at home were unprepared for the trials and tribulations of Broadchurch’s residents, one man knew exactly what was going to happen – and it still didn’t stop him welling up. The show’s creator Chris Chibnall admits he was reaching for the tissues with the rest of us as he watched back footage of his award-winning drama…

“It’s probably a very indulgent thing to say but yes, I cried,” he tells Radio Times. “You don’t cry at your own writing –you cry at performances.” 


So, which actors had him shedding a tear? “All of them in different ways. Olivia, David Bradley, David Tennant, Andy Buchan, Jodie Whittaker. It’s the cast who just make you weep.”

Chibnall – whose drama has won three Baftas, including a best actress award for Colman – is currently busy with production on the second series of the ITV drama, a recommission announced as the credits rolled on last year’s dramatic finale. Season two sees Charlotte Rampling, Eve Myles and James D’arcy join the ranks, along with returning cast members Tennant, Colman, Whittaker and Buchan. 

But Chibnall isn’t giving anything away ahead of the show’s hotly-anticipated return. “I want you to follow the story when I’m telling the story, not before. That’s how you can get to a communal experience. 

“Hopefully people all sit down at the same time and watch it all at the same time. That’s the most exciting thing that television can do and we had a little taste of it last year and I would love us to be able to do it again.”

Broadchurch is expected to return to ITV next year

Broadchurch the official novel by Erin Kelly is published by Sphere price £7.99


Read our exclusive chat with Chris Chibnall, about the book, in this week’s Radio Times magazine – on sale on Tuesday in newsagents and on Newsstand for iPad and iPhone