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Floodlights boss reveals how Andy Woodward responded to drama

The BBC Two drama tells the true story of footballer Andy Woodward, who in 2016 spoke about being sexually abused by his youth coach.

Floodlights
BBC
Published: Tuesday, 17th May 2022 at 1:55 pm
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This article contains discussion of subjects including sexual abuse that some readers may find upsetting.

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The executive producer of BBC Two's Floodlights – a real-life drama about footballer Andy Woodward's experience of sexual abuse – has revealed that the former Crewe Alexandra player found the show "pretty overwhelming".

The feature-length single drama stars Shameless actor Gerard Kearns as Andy Woodward, who was sexually abused by his youth coach Barry Bennell in the 1980s and spoke about his experience in 2016, with Bennell being sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for multiple child sexual offences.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press about Woodward's reaction to the drama, Floodlights boss Colin Barr said that the footballer visited the set and has seen the film "several times".

Andy Woodward talking during a conference
The real-life Andy Woodward Paul Ellis / Getty

"We made sure he saw it at various stages and I think it was pretty overwhelming for him. I think you can imagine the sorts of things that we're recreating are the source of a huge amount of trauma and damage for Andy.

"So asking him to sit down and watch a film that effectively recreates those moments and actually recreate some moments for the family."

He added that Woodward was "always most sensitive" about how his family came across in the drama, with Happy Valley's Steve Edge playing his father Terry and The Bay's Morven Christie playing his mother Jean.

"I think that he was massively reassured when he saw what Steve and Morven had done with their performances," Barr said.

"I think he was always really worried that an audience might judge his family for what happened and we always wanted to make sure that the film could show an audience how these things would happen without judgement because Bennell was who Bennell was."

He continued: "So it was overwhelming for him. I think his overriding feeling is one of great pride, which from my point of view was everything. Absolutely everything."

Read more: Floodlights star reveals he initially refused to play Barry Bennell

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The SurvivorsUK National Online Helpline for Male Survivors can be reached from 12pm – 8pm every day via the website (http://survivorsuk.org), by text (020 3322 1860) and by email (help@survivorsuk.org).

Floodlights airs on BBC Two on Tuesday 17th May at 9pm. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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