Lucy Kirkwood’s play Maryland is being adapted for the BBC and Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat), Hayley Squires (I, Daniel Blake) and Daniel Mays (Des, Line of Duty) have landed the lead roles. The 30-minute adaptation of the Royal Court play will be called Mary and air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on July 20. Kirkwood and doc director Brian Hill are co-directors on the story, which is billed as a “artistic response to recent real-life events” such as the murders of British women Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman and Sabina Nessa, grappling with the violence facing women in their everyday lives. Ashton and Squires play women both called Mary who meet at a police station in the aftermath of their respective sexual assaults. Kirkwood said: “I wrote the original play as a howl against the way we have normalised violence against women as something to be accommodated by women themselves, rather than protested by all of us… I hope the film will give new oxygen to that protest, but I wish it was not still such an urgent conversation.”
Delphine Ernotte-Cunci And Petr Dvořák Re-Elected To EBU Posts
France Télévisions CEO Delphine Ernotte-Cunci and Czech Television Director General Petr Dvořák have been re-elected European Broadcasting Union (EBU) President and Vice-President, respectively. They will begin new two-year terms, with Mykola Chernotytskyi from Ukrainian member UA:PBC and Dr Katja Wildermuth from Bavarian broadcaster BR filing empty board positions. Furthermore, the EBU Executive Board has also confirmed that Director General Noel Curran has been appointed to serve a further six years. The EBU, which represents Europe’s most of public broadcasters, faces mounting challenges as traditional state-backed TV organisations come under pressure from monied streaming rivals. “One hundred years after the creation of the BBC, and therefore one hundred years after the invention of public service media, we must, again and again, emphasize our work on our values: mutual aid, solidarity, independence, impartiality in the face of threats to freedom and democracy,” said Ernotte-Cunci and Dvořák in a statement.
UK Indie Rockerdale Studios Hires ‘Ex Rated’ Creator Alex Martin
Mission: Accessible producer Rockerdale Studios has appointed Ex Rated creator Alex Martin as its first Head of Development. He will look to supercharge the disabled-led indie’s comedy-led slate, adding to titles such as All4’s Mission: Accessible, Vice and Comedy Central’s Bobby and Harriet Get Married and the upcoming Dine Hard with Rosie Jones, also for All4. Prior to joining Rockerdale, he was Head of Development at Mighty Productions, where he created Ex Rated for Peacock and developed the BBC1 quiz !mpossible. He has also held senior development roles at Tuesday’s Child, Shine TV, CPL Productions and RDF. “I love the Rockerdale ethos – their shows are clever and funny, the team is bursting with disruptive energy and they are unrelenting in their quest for success. I can’t wait to chop through those commissioner doors with my freshly sharpened Rockerdale axe,” said Martin. The hire comes after Rockerdale Studios joined Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund.
Channel 4 Challenges Audience To ‘Know Your Sh!t’
Presenters and identical twins Alana and Lisa Macfarlane are fronting a light-hearted series about the state of the British nation’s bowels. They will front Know Your Sh!t (working title), which will aim to teach people what is and isn’t normal about people’s poos and what we can do to revolutionize everyday health habits. A variety of medical experts will offer professional diagnostics and advice, as each episode features different case studies of patients with a variety of complaints who are willing to undergo a bowel movement test with the results setting them on a path to better gut health. “This is an unashamedly candid and revealing series that should really help a lot of people,” said Channel 4 Senior Commissioning Editor Clemency Green. “Know Your Sh!t aims to make those awkward conversations that bit easier and encourage people to engage in this vital part of their wellbeing.” Universal International Studios-owned producer Monkey is attached to make the six-part series. Andy Charles Smith and Will Macdonald are executive producing.