Jimmy McGovern’s Moving On is a cut above its fellow daytime dramas

The five standalone episodes have attracted quality talent behind and in front of the camera, says Jane Rackham


BBC’s daytime schedules have traditionally been the resting place for repeats, shows about antiques, cookery or home-buying, and even more repeats, all used as a sort of Polyfilla between the end of BBC Breakfast and the start of Six O’Clock News.


But this rather dull sandwich is about to get an altogether meatier filling today with Moving On (2:15pm, BBC1). A series of daily stand-alone contemporary dramas centred around a pivotal moment in a person’s life, they were created by Jimmy McGovern in 2009 and have already run to much acclaim for seven series.

Today’s story is about an 18-year-old refugee from Afghanistan who has lived and flourished with his English foster family since he was seven so he’s devastated to receive a letter deporting him immediately. It’s a harrowing depiction of the bureaucracy of immigration lightened with touches of humanity while Rosie Cavaliero (the detective in ITV’s The Prey) gives a heart-stoppingly powerful performance that leaves you emotionally drained.


Moving On boasts scripts that are a cut above the daytime soaps (and often gets a prime repeat at a later date), which attract quality talent behind and in front of the camera. Tuesday’s episode stars Katy Cavanagh (Coronation Street and The Cops) while Wednesday’s features Amy Nuttall (Emmerdale and Downtown Abbey), and Friday’s sees Lorraine Cheshire (Early Doors and In the Club) play a recently bereaved nurse who is taken in by a charming but not exactly law-abiding builder. Thursday’s story about a man whose new zero-hours job starts to affect his relationship is directed by Paul McGann. All are worth recording if you’re not at home in the daytime.

And if you’re hungry for even more daytime drama, we’re promised a second series of The Coroner soon. Starring Claire Goose as the coroner in the South Devon coastal town she left as a teenager, this series was enormously popular first time out, even if Goose’s character continually investigates sudden or unexplained deaths (and there are a lot of them in Lighthaven) – which, of course, a real coroner would never ever do…


Moving On begins at 2:15pm today and airs across this week on BBC1