City gives a backdrop to new drama

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Connaught Rooms The Connaught Rooms

A star-studded series of chilling TV crime dramas featuring a wealth of British acting talent including Sean Bean and Lesley Sharp has begun shooting in Bradford.

The three films are being produced for Channel 4 and are based on Osset author David Peace’s acclaimed “Yorkshire Noir” novels set against the backdrop of the hunt for Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper.

The West Riding of Peace’s youth becomes the Red Riding for the purposes of his books and now the TV adaptations – blood red.

Yesterday film crews were spotted at locations in Bradford – including the Connaught Rooms, a former Masonic hall on Manningham Lane, and nearby Lister Park – following on from filming in Calderdale last week.

The three books which are being adapted – Nineteen Seventy-Four, Nineteen Eighty and Nineteen Eight-Three – will have three different directors at the helm, including Anand Tucker, James Marsh and, for the first instalment, Julian Jarrold, most recently responsible for the remake of Brideshead Revisited and the TV version of the hit novel White Teeth.

And the cast is a veritable who’s who of British TV today – it includes Andrew Garfield (returning to C4 after his Bafta-winning performance in Boy A), who plays rookie local crime reporter Eddie Dunford; Rebecca Hall (Woody Allen’s forthcoming Vicky Cristina Barcelona), who plays young widow Paula Garland; Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings), who plays property magnate John Dawson; Paddy Considine (Dead Man’s Shoes, The Bourne Ultimatum), who plays Assistant Chief Constable Peter Hunter, Lesley Sharp, who plays his wife Joan Hunter; David Morrissey (The Other Boleyn Girl, Blackpool), who plays Detective Chief Superintendent Maurice Jobson, and Mark Addy (The Full Monty), who plays John Piggott.

The trilogy will be made for Channel 4 in association with Revolution Films, Screen Yorkshire and Lip Sync. It is scheduled for transmission sometime in 2009.

David Peace, in an interview with the T&A following the publication of the Nineteen Eighty segment of the series, recalled how the Ripper murders had affected everyone he knew when he was growing up.

He also said that although he had used the murders committed by Peter Sutcliffe as the basis for the plot, and the police’s attempts to snare the killer, he had changed all names and fictionalised all characters.

He said: “I did it out of sensibilities for families of the victims. Even Peter Sutcliffe’s name is changed to Peter Williams, one of the aliases he used.

“This is a work of fiction, after all, and although I want to convey how harrowing this time was, I got into this through choice. The victims and their families didn’t.”

Next year will also see a movie version of Peace’s book The Damned United, which charts the ill-fated 44 days that Brian Clough was in charge of Leeds United.

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