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John Braine’s famous novel is filmed again, 51 years after the original
Actors Maxine Peake and Matthew McNulty have been announced as the stars of a new version of Room at the Top, which has been partly shot in Bradford.
Filming on two 60-minute television films of Bingley writer John Braine’s classic post-war novel – which will head up a new BBC4 season next spring – finished in the region shortly before Christmas.
As reported in the Telegraph & Argus, a civic ball scene was filmed at Bradford’s City Hall, and other locations included Halifax and Leeds.
Regional screen agency Screen Yorkshire worked with Great Meadow Productions, the company behind controversial Channel 4 drama Bradford Riots, on providing crew and locations for the four-week shoot.
The first screen version of Room at the Top since the Oscar-winning 1959 film stars Matthew McNulty as Joe Lampton, a working-class young man with ruthless ambition. When he sets his plans in motion, he soon realises that the road to the top is rockier than it first appeared. Matthew has been in TV dramas such as Cranford, Shameless, Five Days, The Royal and Lark Rise to Candleford. He also appeared in the film Control, alongside Menston actor Sam Riley.
Maxine Peake plays Alice Aisgill, an unhappily married older woman who has a clandestine affair with Joe.
Maxine’s TV credits include The Secret Diaries of Miss Lister, Red Riding and Dinnerladies.
Jenna Louise Coleman, best known as Jasmine Thomas in Emmerdale, plays Susan Brown, the daughter of a rich businessman who is used by Joe as a means to his quest for social promotion. Despite his single-minded ambition, Joe cannot choose between the two women as he struggles against his own self-destructive will.
Room at the Top will be the centrepiece of Love and Sex in 20th Century Literature on BBC4 next March.
Chris Hordley, production liaison manager at Screen Yorkshire, said: “We are very excited to be working with Great Meadows Productions and BBC4 to bring this iconic literary classic, which has its roots firmly steeped in the region, to the screen. This year we’ve seen an increasing number of producers recognise the seductive combination of diverse locations and experienced crew that Yorkshire has to offer. Viewers can look forward to seeing a fantastic range of television drama, filmed here, on their screens in 2011.”