With a back catalogue including Skins, This Is England, The Virtues, His Dark Materials and many more, it’s safe to say that Jack Thorne is one of the biggest names in British telly right now. Today, we got a first look at his new project Then Barbara Met Alan, a BBC factual drama telling the story of two of the UK’s most prominent disabled rights activists.

Then Barbara Met Alan

Then Barbara Met Alan will star Years & Years’ Ruth Madeley and newcomer Arthur Hughes as Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth, a pair of cabaret performers who met at a show in 1989, and went on to lead a campaign that made significant progress in the fight for disabled civil rights in Britain.

When he delivered the annual James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival earlier this year, Thorne spoke about the ongoing lack of disabled representation, saying that “TV has failed disabled people”, and calling for quotas both on and off-screen to address the imbalance.

The one-off TV film will be directed by Bruce Goodwin – who has previously worked on BBC hits including Murdered By My Father and Doctor Foster – and Amit Sharma, one of the directors for the BAFTA-nominated series of monologues about disability Crip Tales. It’s due to air in 2022.

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