27 January 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Northern Ireland-set crime drama Hope Street commissioned by BBC Daytime and Britbox North America
04 Mar 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Cast of Hope Street.
BBC Daytime and BritBox North America have commissioned Hope Street, a new serial crime drama set in Northern Ireland, from acclaimed producers Paul Marquess and Donna Wiffen at Long Story TV.

It is a co-production with BritBox North America and has been commissioned for BBC One afternoons and BBC Northern Ireland, and will be made with support from Northern Ireland Screen.

“After nearly 30 years of producing drama in England, I am beyond excited to be heading home to make Hope Street,” said Executive Producer Paul Marquess. “Set on Northern Ireland’s stunning coastline, the series is a celebration of local writing, acting, and production talent. Warm, engaging, and funny, Hope Street presents Northern Ireland to the world in a fresh new light.”

Hope Street will celebrate the warm-hearted and good-humoured people of the town, as they build a future together rather than dwelling on the differences of the past. The series is set in the fictional town of Port Devine on the Northern Ireland coast and will focus on Port Devine’s police department – and the mysterious arrival of English Detective Constable Alimah Kahn, the first Muslim police officer in the town’s history. The character-led series combines a long-running serial narrative with self-contained crime stories in each episode.

The cast features established and distinguished character actors including Brid Brennan (Brooklyn) as Concepta, Des McAleer (The Crown) as Barry, Ciaran McMenamin (Primeval) as Finn, and Amara Karan (The Night of) as Alimah.

Hope Street is created by Susanne Farrell (Dirty God) and Paul Marquess (London Kills), written by Farrell, Jess Lea (Eastenders), Christine Murphy (Emmerdale), Stuart Drennan (Hollyoaks), and Shazia Rashid (Eastenders), and exec produced by Donna Wiffen (The Bill) and Marquess for Long Story TV.

“We are delighted to welcome Paul home to Northern Ireland to make Hope Street,” said Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen.  “For many years Northern Ireland Screen has been keen to develop a returning drama series which could create invaluable skills development opportunities for local writers, directors and crew. Hope Street will act as a crucial training ground for those behind the camera as well as providing an excellent opportunity for our homegrown acting talent. We have high hopes for Hope Street.”

The drama is the latest commission to be announced as part of the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen Partnership Agreement. The successful partnership, which is soon to be renewed for its third term, continues to support the screen industry in Northern Ireland and help ensure that Northern Ireland is better represented to audiences across the UK and internationally.

“I’m thrilled that we’ll be bringing the beautiful backdrop of Northern Ireland to BBC One Daytime viewers in this exciting new drama, which is coming from such a stellar team,” said Carla-Maria Lawson, Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak. “I’m sure our audiences will love the intriguing characters who inhabit Hope Street and relish soaking in their surroundings.”

Eddie Doyle, Head of Content Commissioning, BBC Northern Ireland added: “Audiences are really going to fall in love with Hope Street’s gripping storylines and cast of colourful characters. It’s great to see a new drama go into production in Northern Ireland that will showcase the humour and warmth of the people here as well its beautiful locations. Paul and Donna have created a wonderfully witty drama and we look forward to bringing it to audiences next year.”

Filming on Hope Street will begin later this month with series one due to air on BBC Daytime and BBC One Northern Ireland in 2022. The show will also exclusively premiere on BritBox in North America.

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