Channel 4’s powerful drama National Treasure, about a faded entertainer called Paul Finchley being accused of historic sex crimes, boasts a stellar cast.
Robbie Coltrane plays the accused Paul Finchley, with Julie Walters his stoic, unhappy wife and Andrea Riseborough his troubled daughter Dee.
The writer is Skins, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and soon-to-be His Dark Materials writer Jack Thorne. National Treasure starts Tuesday 20th September at 9pm on Channel 4.
Here are the main players…
Paul Finchley (Robbie Coltrane)
Paul is a much-loved, ageing entertainer, one half of a very successful double act who have been on our screens for over 30 years. Paul is avuncular, witty and popular, both as the national treasure of the title and an inspiration to the younger generations of comics. Yet there’s also a troubling side to Paul. Away from the limelight he hasn’t always been a good (or faithful) husband to his wife, Marie, or the best father to his daughter, Dee. When he faces questioning over an alleged historic sex crime, all these demons will resurface.
A giant of TV and screen, Robbie’s best known TV role is as the hard-living maverick forensic psychologist Fitz from Cracker. He is also a Harry Potter favourite for his turn as Hagrid, and is known to Bond fans as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the films Goldeneye and The World is Not Enough.
Marie Finchley (Julie Walters)
Marie has been Paul’s wife for 40 years and has stuck by him through all his career highs and lows. A steely, dryly funny, strong and religious woman, she has always been fiercely protective of her family. However, as the pressure of the legal case mounts and old family secrets start to emerge, Marie questions her own faith in her husband.
Like her co-star Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters is another Harry Potter alumnus, much loved for her role as Ron’s lovely Mum Molly Weasley. She won a Golden Globe and a Bafta and was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in 1983 film Educating Rita, enjoyed a wonderful comedy career alongside Victoria Wood, and recently appeared in Indian Summers on Channel 4.
Danielle “Dee” Finchley (Andrea Riseborough)
Dee is Paul and Marie’s only child. Troubled, clever, acerbically funny, but also deeply vulnerable, she’s a recovering addict, struggling to stay sober and to be a good mum to her kids, Billy and Frances. When her famous father is accused of monstrous crimes, it forces Dee to re-examine her life all over again.
You will have seen Andrea in C4 drama The Devil’s Whore, alongside Michael Keaton in the Oscar-winning Birdman and playing the lead role of the former British Prime Minister in the TV drama Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley.