Andy Harries’ TV diary

Andy Harries’ TV diary

Tuesday, 2nd July 2024
Andy Harries (Credit: Andy Harries)
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Andy Harries attends the Euros with playwright James Graham – all part of researching a TV adaptation of Dear England

I leave Corfu airport (a week’s holiday sailing around the coast with pals) for Düssel­dorf and England’s opening match in the Euros against Serbia. James Graham and I are guests of the FA, all part of the research for Dear England 2.0, a four-part BBC series adapted from his hit play, which we will shoot in 2025 with Rupert Goold directing and Joe Fiennes reprising his alter ego England manager Gareth Southgate.

James intends to update the play to include the story of this Euros campaign for the final ep. The question is, will Gareth finally get the triumphant win in a major tournament he so craves and cement his place in English soccer history?

I am up early to fly to Edinburgh to visit the Department Q set at Leith Studios. It’s the final week of a six-month shoot for this new Netflix show. Loosely adapted from a Jussi Adler-Olsen novel, the eight-parter is written and directed by the American creative dynamo Scott Frank (Godless, The Queen’s Gambit).

It features Matthew Goode as a smart but bad-tempered English detective digging into a very cold case. A high-profile Edinburgh female prosecutor has been missing (presumed dead) for several years.

Scott is a great man, charming, collaborative and properly obsessive about every detail of the shoot. He has fashioned a very original and atmospheric detective show for us and it’s a joy to ride sidesaddle with one of the real legends of our business. Dinner in a tapas bar off the Royal Mile with our commissioners Manda and Mona. They are very happy. Dep Q should hit Netflix in the early summer of 2025.

Another early flight but, before I set off for London, I manage to do a weights session in the Kimpton Charlotte Square hotel. For the past year or so I have made myself do a minimum of 30 minutes a day, every day without fail before breakfast and often with the motivation of one of my regular trainers.

I have several and they “Zoom” in wherever I am. On Tuesdays, it’s Ryan, a super fit Māori who works out of Chiswick. It’s so easy with a phone, some Apple AirPods and a decent gym. Fitness keeps me focused, calm and helps me to sleep.

London City airport (which I love for its speed and efficiency) and the tube to our offices off Leicester Square and then a working lunch; always the same tuna and salmon sashimi from the Japan Centre below the office.

A series of meetings including a Zoom with writer Veena Sud in LA to discuss her trip to Europe to research the reboot of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a long-standing project we are developing with Amazon US.

Early-evening drinks at Sophie Turner Laing’s house on the way home. It’s a get together to meet fellow members of the National Film and Television School board, which I have just joined. I think the NFTS is a fabulous school. Many of the recent graduates came to work on The Crown.

It’s run by the excellent Jon Wardle, who has made it an important creative powerhouse for new talent. I am a long-standing supporter of the NFTS. The next generation needs our support to keep the UK at the forefront of the global TV business.

Home, at last, to Chiswick and to my wife, Rebecca; supper in the oven. Lovely.

It’s Film London’s 20th anniversary. I am Chair of the Executive Task Force and on hand in The Standard, London hotel’s The Rooftop bar for the breakfast celebration.

It’s a fancy title but all the real work is done by the lovely and unsung Adrian Wootton. He and his team have cut through the crap to make London easier and more efficient to film in. Film London is a big success and the city is now one of the most popular film sets in the world.

Andy Harries is CEO of Left Bank Pictures.