Steven Knight's series This Town is the first major drama to be filmed at his new Digbeth Loc Studios in Birmingham, and is fittingly set in the city, as well as other parts of the Midlands, such as Coventry.


The show follows a number of interconnected stories of people living there during the 1980s, as a group of young people come together to start a band during the ska and two-tone era.

One of the show's stars, Shyvonne Ahmmad, who plays drummer Matty, spoke with exclusively, and explained just how crucial the Midlands is to the drama.

She said: "Paul [Whittington, director] always says that it's a love letter to Birmingham and the Midlands, and it's a love letter to that time.

"So those who grew up during that time, or even children of parents who grew up in that time, it's so exciting to get to step into it."

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Shyvonne Ahmmad as Matty in This Town, wearing a sleeveless jacket and T-Shirt and looking at the camera
Shyvonne Ahmmad as Matty in This Town. BBC/Banijay Rights/Kudos

Ahmmad continued: "It's all about self-expression, it's all about figuring out who you are. So step into it, I'd say for audience members, and remember who you were trying to be at that time and who you thought you were.

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"And if you are still figuring out, like all of us, I think it's a lifelong endeavour to try and figure out who you are and what you want and who your tribe is. Step into it and just enjoy it."

This is, of course, not the first show of Knight's to be set in Birmingham, with Peaky Blinders helping to put the city on the global tourist map.

Ben Rose, who plays central character Bardon in This Town, explained to how This Town is both similar and different to Peaky Blinders, saying: "It’s just the writing.

"Steven Knight, the writer, he has a really incredible sort of voice, I think, and he's able to create really grounded, naturalistic characters who all speak in poetry, and all have a heightened sense of reality within this really gritty, very earthly world.

"His language is sort of otherworldly. And the way Peaky uses contemporary popular music to contrast with the era, our show kind of has the opposite, because it's using music of the time, of the era, to make you feel even more immersed in that world."

This Town will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Sunday 31st March, while the first episode will air on BBC One at 9pm.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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