Nigella Lawson speaking at the BBC Two 2015 launch in London Photo: BBC
Daniel Radcliffe will star in a new Grand Theft Auto-based drama on BBC Two.
The feature-length drama, which co-stars Bill Paxton, will follow the controversy surrounding the computer game, which was created by a bunch of old British school friends. At the heart of it all was creative mastermind Sam Houser, played by Radcliffe.
For the uninitiated, GTA allows gamers to step into a fantasy underworld, where they can gun down gangsters and cops alike, and hijack cars almost any vehicle you could imagine. Since its launch, that unique offering has gone to become the fastest selling entertainment product in history: in autumn 2013, GTA V earned $1bn in its first three days alone.
But that violent gameplay and rampant success has sparked fierce opposition from worried parents, concerned politicians and moral campaigners. At the vanguard of this backlash is lawyer Jack Thompson – played by Paxton – a man determined to do whatever he can to stop GTA’s relentless rise.
The drama, which has the working title “Game Changer”, is written by Rev’s James Wood and directed by Black Mirror’s Owen Harris. It leads a new slate of programming announced by BBC Two this week.
Kim Shillinglaw says: “BBC Two is in great shape. From the the critical and ratings success of Wolf Hall, BBC Two’s biggest drama series in at least 13 years and Banished, which was our fourth highest drama series launch, to stand out seasons on Food, The Super Rich And Us, Taking Liberties and our Holocaust Memorial content, we’ve got people talking and watching the channel in significant numbers. I’m particularly proud to have won more RTS Awards than any other channel, with awards for Marvellous, The Honourable Woman and Inside no 9, amongst others.”
The line-up includes a new drama from The Honourable Woman’s Hugo Blick, which will be set in Africa. Other major series range from Himalaya with Sue Perkins, cookery shows by Nigella Lawson and the Hairy Bikers, and science programming with Brian Cox – who will battle through the six degrees of separation that connect everything in our universe – to Gareth Malone’s The Naked Choir, which will see groups perform a cappella, Sara Cox’s The Great British Pottery Throw Down and Mary Beard’s Meet The Roman Empire.
Other factual programmes will see David Olusoga trace Britiain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, Dominic Sandbrook explore culture in the years post-WWII, Gordon Buchanon visit remote tribes and Neil Oliver and Alice Roberts team up to discover the world of the Celts. There will also be a hard-hitting documentary with exclusive access to Greater Manchester Police’s new unit investigating sex offences.
For those who like to laugh, a new comedy series, Mum, reunites the creative team behind the BAFTA award-winning Him & Her, including writer Stefan Golaszewski. Comedian Katherine Ryan also presents a new series, Hair, which searches for Britain’s best amateur hair stylist.
“I want BBC Two to be the place to come for widest range of grown up, opinionated and entertaining content on British television,” adds Shillinglaw.