Jack Thorne

Jack Thorne and Genevieve Barr to write drama marking 25th anniversary of Disability Discrimination Act

Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth (Credit: BBC)

Produced by Dragon Film and TV and One Shoe Films, the drama tells the exceptional true story of the bold campaign of direct action that led to the victory of disabled civil rights in Britain.

The story is told through the eyes of Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth, two cabaret performers with disabilities who met at a concert in 1989 and soon fell in love and had a baby.

They became big advocates and the driving force behind the Direct Action Network (DAN), a national group campaigning for change through non-violent direct action.

His Dark Materials creators discuss why collaboration was the foundation of the series

Jack Thorne, Dan McCulloch, Joel Collins, Jane Tranter and Russell Dodgson (Credit: Phil Lewis)

That was the main takeaway from an RTS question and answer session following an exclusive screening of the final episode of season one.

All five panellists emphasised how working as a team was fundamental to the show, described by one reviewer as “a riveting realisation” of Pullman’s world.

“We did a lot of talking. It’s not me alone at my desk but a lot of people working together,” explained Jack Thorne who wrote the script for His Dark Materials.

Jack Thorne on screenwriting, fatherhood and His Dark Materials

Iorek Byrnison (Joe Tandberg) and Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) (Credit: BBC/Bad Wolf/HBO)

‘Rachel doesn’t let me cycle,” laughs writer Jack Thorne as I am leaving his north London home following our interview. Rachel is his wife, a comedy agent and keen cyclist herself, who laughs back: “Yes, he’d just be cycling along and have a script idea and that would be that.”

Sarah Lancashire to star in new Channel 4 drama The Accident

Sarah Lancashire in The Accident (credit: Channel 4)

The four-part series will complete a trilogy of dramas created for Channel 4, alongside Kiri and National Treasure.

Written by RTS-award winning screenwriter Jack Thorne, The Accident follows the aftermath of a catastrophic explosion on a construction site in a Welsh town. As the community is torn apart by grief and anger, they search for someone to blame.

BBC One commissions new four-part series from Jack Thorne

Jack Thorne (Credit: BBC)

Best Interests tells the story of two parents who must make a life-changing decision that no one could ever want to make.

Andrew and Nicci’s daughter, Marnie, suffers from a life-threatening condition to the extent that medical staff have suggested that it would be in her best interests to be allowed to die to end any suffering.

Andrew and Nicci struggle to contemplate the decision and launch a legal battle to prevent their daughter’s death.

Channel 4 promises more distinctive content for 2019

Ed Stafford will explore homelessness for Channel 4 (Credit: C4)

The new shows are part of a deliberate drive by the channel to offer distinctive content, in a bid to beat competition from streaming services and other broadcasters.

At the launch of the new slate, Ian Katz, the channel’s Director of Programming, said he wants to focus on “entertaining, mischievous and innovative shows about the big issues and arguments in Britain today.”

He added: “Many of the shows [launching in 2019] are not ones that the global digital giants, even as they plough billions into new content, would be remotely interested in making.”

Jed Mercurio's advice for screenwriters

Line of Duty (Credit: BBC)

Now's a great time to get into writing for TV. There have never been more opportunities for scripted programming. To stand out from the crowd, an idea should seem original and distinctive.

While the breadth of programming has increased, the traditional formats have remained dominant. Your writing should fit the standard models for a mini-series, a serial or an episodic series; 30 minutes for comedy, 60 minutes for drama.

RTS winners unite for new Channel 4 crime drama Kiri

Sarah Lancashire RTS Programme Awards 2013-14

Happy Valley actor Sarah Lancashire stars as social worker Miriam who is thrust into the spotlight when a child in her care, Kiri, is abducted and killed after an unsupervised visit to her biological family. The no-nonsense social worker loves and believes in her job, but has a maverick and instinctive approach to dealing with the children she looks after, which draws attention as the media buzz intensifies.

Miriam (Lancashire) and the families at the centre of the storm are forced to ask tough questions, not just of themselves, but of those they love the most.  

Dramatist Jack Thorne discusses the truth of storytelling

The Last Panthers

As a child, Jack Thorne was a devoted TV viewer who’d some-­times risk compromising his personal hygiene – all for the sake of his favourite programmes. He was reluctant to leave the box’s magical embrace and delayed taking a shower until the commercial break rolled round.

“That’s fine when you’re eight, but less good when you’re 14,” says Thorne. He has a wide, open face, which lights up like a Belisha beacon when he recalls his childhood and adolescent TV addiction.