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Thirteen writer Marnie Dickens creates new BBC1 age-gap drama

Gold Digger, one of four new dramas revealed by the BBC, will focus on the repercussions of a woman's affair with a younger man

Published: Wednesday, 21st March 2018 at 12:01 am

Marnie Dickens, the writer of hit BBC3 drama Thirteen, is creating a major new BBC1 series about a love affair between a woman and a much younger man.


Gold Digger will air in 2019 and tells the story of wealthy 60-year-old Julia as she falls in love with Benjamin, a man 25 years her junior.

“As this six part series progresses the impact their unconventional relationship has on her family is explored and the secrets of their past are revealed," the BBC says in a statement. "Has Julia finally found the happiness she's always deserved? Or is Benjamin really the gold digger they think he is?”

In an interview with, Dickens made clear that she did not want to make another series of Thirteen, which told the story about the fate of Ivy Moxham, as the story was complete.

Writer Dickens said she “couldn't be happier to be working … on a drama that puts an older woman unequivocally at the heart of the action.”

Gold Digger, which has not yet been cast, is one of four BBC1 dramas announced today by the BBC.

The second is Dark Mon£y, a four-part drama by writer Levi David Addai (Damilola, Our Loved Boy), about an ordinary London family which decides to accept a substantial pay-off from a renowned filmmaker to keep silent about the abuse of their youngest son.

“Although guilt-ridden, they believe the money will enable the family to heal and move on, to start a new life and erase the memories of the past,” says the BBC. “But damage runs deep, and the price of taking the money may be very high.”

The third drama is The Capture written by writer-director Ben Chanan, the creative force behind the Channel 4 drama Cyberbully starring Games of Thrones star Maisie Williams.

Described as “spy show for the modern era”, the six-parter will begin with the unjust arrest of an innocent man and soon escalate into a multi-layered conspiracy of manipulated evidence.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said, “The Capture is a complex conspiracy thriller with a big human story at its heart. Research based but with huge flair in its storytelling, The Capture shines a light on surveillance culture and asks what happens in a world where we can no longer trust the evidence in front of us.”

The fourth drama will be an adaptation of Emma Healey’s best-selling novel Elizabeth is Missing.

Scripted by Andrea Gibb (Swallows and Amazons) the 90-minute film centres around the central character Maud who investigates the disappearance of her best friend Elizabeth. She is convinced that something terrible has happened but has to embark on the search with her dementia worsening.


Casting for all four dramas will be announced in the coming months, with an expected broadcast next year for all four of them.


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