Channel 4 is set to take a brave look at celebrity and historical sex abuse claims in new drama National Treasure, inspired by the events of Operation Yewtree and starring Robbie Coltrane.
The first trailer for the series sees Coltrane as Paul Finchley, a fictional celebrity and broadcasting ‘national treasure’, whose life falls apart after he is accused of sexual offences from the past.
The four-part series, written by Bafta-winning screenwriter and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne, is set to reflect real-life police investigations and court cases, including that of Rolf Harris.
“They think I’m Jimmy Savile,” Coltrane’s character says in the exclusive first trailer below, while a Sun front page tells of his apparent ‘Sex Shame’.
Watch the first trailer for Channel 4’s National Treasure below
Award-winning actress Julie Walters plays Marie, who has been married to Paul for over 40 years, but now is forced to consider whether the accusations against him are true. Paul’s daughter Dee is played by Andrea Riseborough (Bridman, Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley).
Also featuring in the cast is Game of Thrones and Blackadder actor Tim McInnerny, who plays Paul’s longtime comedy partner Karl.
The drama was first unveiled during last year’s Edinburgh TV Festival. Creator Thorne said, “What I’ve always loved about Channel 4 is that it’s a place to discuss big ideas.
“National Treasure is a piece about doubt, about the smell of abuse, about how we as a society live in Yewtree times. Paul is a man who could be innocent or guilty. We’re going to examine him from all sides and ask that big question – how well do we know the people closest to us?”
National Treasure is produced by new production company The Forge for Channel 4, and directed by Utopia’s Marc Munden. The series is set to air later this year on Channel 4.