BBC One has announced a new drama, Anthony, which will focus on Anthony Walker – a Liverpool teenager who was tragically murdered in a racist attack in 2005.
The 90 minute programme has been created by Bafta winning screenwriter Jimmy McGovern (Broken, The Street, Cracker) and is based on conversations between McGovern and Anthony’s mother Gee about his life and passions.
It promises to tell the story of the life Anthony could have lived – with references to his dreams of visiting America and studying Law at university, his interest in basketball and his devout Christian faith.
The lead role of Anthony will be played by Toheeb Jimoh (The Power) with Rakie Ayola (Noughts and Crosses) portraying his mother and an extensive supporting cast which includes Julia Brown (World on Fire), Bobby Schofield (Knightfall), Stephanie Hyam (Bodyguard), Shaniqua Okwok (Small Axe), and Robinah Kironde (The Widow).
Gee Walker has said of the drama, “I went to Jimmy because I couldn’t think of anyone more suited who could depict, highlight and draw attention to the hard messages of a life not lived – Anthony’s unfilled dreams, his potentials and the many lives he would have impacted on – which now will never be realised.”
McGovern added “I’d known Gee Walker for many years and every time I had needed to write about loss or grief I had gone to her and she had always been generous with her time and her profound wisdom.
“But one day SHE came to ME and asked me to write about her beloved Anthony. I said, ‘Gee, if you’re asking such a thing, I feel I have a God-given duty to do it.’ And so I did it.”
Meanwhile Jimoh said of taking on the lead role, “Anthony’s story is a painfully tragic one but it’s also full of hope, joy, promise and love.
“Jimmy’s script captures that perfectly. I hope this film will serve as a tribute to Anthony and I feel truly honoured to have been asked to play him.”
The programme will be directed by Terry McDonough, whose previous credits include Cold Feet, An Adventure in Space and Time and The Street, and will air on BBC One.
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