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‘Best’ Drama to Screen on BBC NI
23 Apr 2009 :
Best: His Mother’s Son
‘Best: His Mother’s Son’, a fact-based drama telling the story of footballer George Best’s relationship with his mother will screen on Sunday, April 26th on BBC Two NI at 9pm. The 90 minute drama will be followed by a making of documentary entitled ‘Best: Made in Belfast’ at 10.30pm.

‘Best: His Mother’s Son’ begins in 1966 when 19-year old George Best, who plays for Manchester United, is riding high on the crest of footballing stardom. Meanwhile, at home in Belfast, his family is living in the same terraced house that George grew up in, but there’s one big difference – the golden boy has gone. George’s mum, Ann, feels the absence fiercely. In George’s place, there is a growing sense that the family is becoming public property being besieged by the press at any given chance. At first, the family seem insulated from the corrosive effects of celebrity. But, when the hitherto teetotal Ann takes her first sip of alcohol, the destiny of this robust and happy family is changed for ever. The drama is airing with the support of Headroom, the BBC’s mental health initiative.

The drama stars Michelle Fairley (A Short Stay In Switzerland) as George’s mother Ann and Tom Payne (Waterloo Road) as George. Lorcan Cranitch (Omagh) takes on the role of Dickie Best. Filmed in the Paint Hall Studios in Belfast last year, the script is written by one of Northern Ireland’s leading dramatists, Terry Cafolla, who was nominated for a BAFTA for ‘Holy Cross’. It is produced and directed by Scotsman Colin Barr, who made the Emmy award-winning drama, ‘Maxwell’, and ‘10 Days To War’, which recently won an RTS Award.

The cast also features Laura Donnelly (Insatiable) as Barbara Best; Lisa Hogg (Almost Adult) as Carol Best; Des McAleer (Hunger) as Matt Busby; Michele Forbes (Omagh) as Mrs Fullaway; and Bronagh Taggart (Red Mist) as Ruby Emerson.

Filmed during the production of the drama, the doc ‘Best: Made in Belfast’ due to air after the drama on BBC Two Northern Ireland at 10.30pm, tells behind the scenes story of the drama and the creative aims of the team involved.

The doc produced by Dermot Lavery of DoubleBand Films will feature interviews from director Colin Barr, writer Terry Cafolla and some of the Northern Irish cast including Michelle Fairley and Lorcan Cranitch.

Speaking on the drama Executive Producer Dermot Lavery said: “I knew when we first became involved with ‘Best: His Mother’s Son’ that it would be special. There is something profoundly moving and emblematic in the relationship between George Best and his mother Ann, with their simultaneous and heart rending struggles with alcoholism. It’s a chapter of George’s story that often gets lost in the versions that highlight his football genius.” “But perhaps George Best’s continuing iconic status and enduring legacy leads us to conclude that there is an appetite among the wider public to extract something more meaningful from his story, something that tells us about the nature of alcoholism and celebrity. I knew that a film like ‘Best: His Mother’s Son’ could only add to that potential.”

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