BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne’s new drama National Treasure screened on Channel 4 this autumn to unanimous acclaim from audiences and critics alike. The four part series starring the BAFTA winning actors Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters and Andrea Riseborough, filmed extensively across the region as a result of investment from Screen Yorkshire at locations including Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Harrogate, Scarborough and Hull.
Just over 3m viewers tuned in to watch Robbie Coltrane’s much anticipated return to the small screen, making it Channel 4’s third most watched programme of the year, after The Grand National and Googlebox.
Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter, Cracker, Tutti Frutti) plays Paul Finchley, one half of a much-loved comedy double act – a cherished household name with a career that spans several decades. He’s not quite as successful as he once was, but nevertheless he’s frequently recognised on the street, affectionately called upon by taxi drivers to repeat his famous catchphrase and is a familiar face in the TV schedules. He’s a bona fide national treasure. But, in the face of accusations of historic sexual offences from the 1990s, the life of this adored comedian begins to unravel.
Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Mo, Indian Summers, Brooklyn) plays Marie. Married to Paul for over 40 years, Marie is a strong woman who’s supported her husband throughout his career, despite some tough times. As the investigation unfolds, Marie is forced to ask herself – is the man she’s spent her life with different to the man she thought she married?
Andrea Riseborough (The Devil’s Whore, Birdman, Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley) plays Dee, Paul’s daughter. Deeply troubled and a recovering addict, the accusations levelled against her father threatens her recovery, and the public and private fallout from the case compounds the difficulties she her already faces from fragile state of mind.
As the investigation and criminal trial work their way towards a verdict, those closest to Paul must deal with the effects of the investigation. Memories that have become muddied in the intervening four decades are dredged, doubts flourish, loyalties are tested, and truths, half-truths and lies are all exposed.
National Treasure filmed extensively throughout the region following investment from Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund. Filming locations include: Leeds, Pudsey, Pontefract, Wakefield, Harrogate, Scarborough, Bradford and Hull.
National Treasure was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Channel 4 Head of Drama, with Beth Willis and Roberto Troni. It is written by Jack Thorne, whose previous credits include Glue (E4), The Fades (BBC3), This is England ‘86, ’88, ’90 (Channel 4) and The Last Panthers (Sky). He has also written Hope and Let the Right One In for The Royal Court Theatre as well as the forthcoming Harry Potter play for London’s West End. Produced by new production company The Forge, National Treasure is executive produced by George Ormond (Great Expectations, Emma) and George Faber (Shameless, The Devil’s Whore, Skins, The Village) and produced by John Chapman (The Street, Cracker).
The series is directed by Marc Munden (Utopia, The Devil’s Whore, The Crimson Petal and the White)
The four-part serial is the second Channel 4 commission for production company The Forge Entertainment. National Treasure is produced in association with Screen Yorkshire, Lip Sync Productions and the support of the Yorkshire Content Fund. Hugo Heppell executive produced on behalf of Screen Yorkshire and Norman Merry on behalf of Lip Sync. Creative England’s production liaison team provided crewing and locations support.
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