15 September 2010
BBC daytime controller Liam Keelan … today launched the new series of Moving On, which was created by Jimmy McGovern and features a high-profile cast, including Anna Massey, John Simm, Robert Glenister and the last television role for the late Corin Redgrave.
Redgrave, who died in April, appears in The Test, a film about love and friendship, alongside Hannah Gordon and the drama is dedicated to him.
Producer Colin McKeown of LA Productions said filming – which took place just a month or two before he died – had been hard for Redgrave and he sometimes filmed “line by line”.
“We thought if it’s going to be his last then it’s going to be the best one,” said McKeown.
In a coup for Moving On, The Wire star Dominic West makes his UK directorial debut, directing Simm and Trainspotting star Ewen Bremner in Malaise, a drama about a man who returns to his daughter after serving eight years in prison.
The first series of Moving On was a hit for the BBC when it first aired in May 2009, pulling in an average share of 21.5% of the audience.
The second series explores contemporary issues such as caring for parents with dementia to in 10 high quality dramas by leading and emerging writers.
John Fay, who wrote the opening film, Sauce for the Gander, a powerful and comic drama about caring for a parent who has dementia, starring Anna Massey and Susannah Harker, said Moving On is a modern “play for today”.
Keelan said: “Moving On was one of my first commissions and it’s one of the ones I feel most proud of.” He said it had real “verve” and that he plans to clear more slots for drama. LA Productions is already developing a new series called Justice, based in Liverpool around the new community justice centre system.
“From my point of view it feels like a no-brainer to do more of these. We’re the only broadcaster producing original drama and I’d like to do more. The financial constraints are there but we’re looking to more of that going forward.”
McKeown explained that all the actors get the same money, “the Equity minimum”, adding: “Every single actor gets paid the same, from Anna Massey onwards. Nobody in the world is doing it for the money. The phenomenal cast is drawn to it by the quality of the script.”
Susannah Harker said actors wanted to appear in Moving On because “it has good scripts. It’s rare. There’s no money!”
McGovern added: “It means there’s work in Liverpool. After the demise of Brookside there were a lot of writers with no opportunity to work.”
Fay said: “There are a lot of writers out of work and less is getting done. I do think that comes down to money. If people aren’t investing, it’s not getting made.”
The new series of Moving On begins [1st November] and is also due to be repeated in peaktime on BBC1.