Maxine Peake and John Simm to star in new BBC1 drama The Village

"Epic series" written by Peter Moffat will chart the life and turbulent times of one English village across the whole of the 20th Century

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Maxine Peake and John Simm are to star in a new epic production for BBC1 entitled The Village.

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The high-concept drama, written by Bafta-winner Peter Moffat, will follow the people of one English village throughout the 20th Century.  Focusing around the life of one man, Bert Middleton (played by Bill Jones), who lives across the entire 100-year period, the programme follows his story from infancy at the outbreak of World War One to extreme old age. 

Births, deaths, love and betrayal – great political events and changes in social and technological practice frame this drama as Bert grows and those around him come and go. 

Maxine Peake and John Simm play Bert’s parent in the six-part drama, and other cast members include Jim Cartwright, Anthony Flanagan, Annabelle Apsion, Joe Armstrong and Augustus Prew. 

John Simm said: “I’m delighted to be working with such a great director (Antonia Bird) and brilliant writer in Peter – I’ve long been a fan of both, alongside such a great cast”.

Maxine Peake added: “Beautiful writing – a period piece when we’re not focusing on the decision makers but the working people, it is so great to see the other side – changes within a chain of social and political life, in minutiae. My character, Grace, channels all her energy into her family with a focus on ambition and the idea of freedom for her sons. Women moving into the workplace as the men went to fight and finding independence”.

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The programme will film on location in the Peak District and is expected to air on BBC1 in 2013.