Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery is set to star alongside My Policeman’s David Dawson in This Town, the new series from Peaky Blinders and SAS: Rogue Heroes creator Steven Knight.

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It will mark the second time that Dawson has teamed up with Knight, after previously appearing in the first season of Peaky Blinders as Roberts, the accountant to Billy Kimber (Charlie Creed-Miles).

Marcella’s Nicholas Pinnock will also star in the eight-part series, which previously had the working title of Two-Tone. It will tell the story of an extended family and four young people against the backdrop of the ska and two-tone scene in the Midlands in the late '70s and early '80s.

Levi Brown, Jordan Bolger, Ben Rose and Eve Austin will play the show’s four young leads, and will be joined by the likes of Geraldine James, Peter McDonald, Freya Parks and Shyvonne Ahmmad.

Nicholas Pinnock, pictured in Marcella, will also join the cast (ITV)

John Heffernan, Stefan Asante-Boateng, Séainín Brennan, George Somner and Brendan Gibson round out the cast.

The BBC describes the show as “both a high octane thriller and a family saga”. The action kicks off in 1981, “at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest”, and the series will “tell the story of a group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, and each in need of the second chance that music offers.”

This Town will be co-produced with Mercury Studios, which is part of the Universal Music Group, who is set to bring in high-profile musicians to “help lay the backdrop for Knight’s incredible story.”

Steven Knight
Steven Knight Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

Mercury-nominated musician, novelist and poet Kae Tempest and producer Dan Carey have written the songs performed by the band on screen.

“This is a project very close to my heart,” Knight said. “It’s about an era I lived through and know well and it involves characters who I feel I grew up with.

“It’s a love letter to Birmingham and Coventry but I hope people from all over the world will relate to it.”

The BBC’s drama commissioning editor Jo McClellan added: “Steven’s scripts are absolutely brilliant – they capture the wild energy of youth and a pivotal moment in time, all set to a fantastic soundtrack, and we can’t wait to see this incredibly talented cast bring it all to life.”

Filming for the show is currently underway in the Birmingham area.

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