Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan to star in new BBC family drama

The four-parter has been created by Bafta-winning writer Jack Thorne, previously known for His Dark Materials, Help and The Virtues.

Michael Sheen will star alongside Sharon Horgan in new BBC drama written by Jack Thorne (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter

Actors Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan have been announced as lead cast members in new BBC series Best Interests.

The four-part drama has been created by Bafta-winning writer Jack Thorne, previously known for His Dark Materials, Help and The Virtues – for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

The series follows a family fighting to save one of their children who suffers from a life-threatening condition.

Sharon Horgan (Ian West/PA)

Sheen, 53, and Horgan 51, play married couple Nicci and Andrew who have two daughters – Katie, played by Alison Oliver, and Marnie played by Niamh Moriarty.

Marnie has a condition so severe that doctors believe it is in her best interests to be allowed to die, however, her family disagree.

Thorne, 43, who is also a disability rights advocate, charts the family’s fight through each stage of the legal process and they struggle to come to terms with the decision of whether their daughter should live or die.

Horgan, known for comedy series Pulling and Catastrophe, said: “Best Interests broke me when I first read the script and then again after talking with Jack about it.

“Covid seems to have shone a closer light on the desperate inequalities that exist for our disabled community so this felt very timely.

“It’s a big subject but it’s in Jack Thorne and (director) Michael Keillor’s safe hands. I’m thrilled to be working on this story with a super talented cast, the wonderful Michael Sheen and Noma Dumezweni, and my gorgeous daughters Alison Oliver and Niamh Moriarty.”

I feel very fortunate to be part of this production

Michael Sheen

Sheen added: “Jack Thorne is such an extraordinary writer and he has approached this incredibly important and urgent subject with humanity, honesty and humour.

“I feel very fortunate to be part of this production and to work with the brilliant Sharon Horgan and some of the most talented actors around.”

Bafta-winning screenwriter Jack Thorne has previously worked on His Dark Materials, Glue and The Accident (Ian West/PA)

Thorne, who began his screenwriting career working on Shameless and Skins, developed cholinergic urticaria from the age of 20, a disability that led him to become allergic to outdoor heat, artificial heat, and his own body heat, causing him chronic pain.

Throughout his career Thorne has written a number of dramas that touch on disability including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Spastic King, Cast Offs, The Solid Life of Sugar Water, Don’t Take My Baby and Crip Tales.

He is also a patron of the Graeae Theatre Company, which champions the inclusion of deaf and disabled people in the arts.

Thorne said: “Best Interests cases are both compelling and revealing. Our country has a very troubled relationship with disability and these cases put a spotlight on that. But our drama is first and foremost a love story and it needs incredible actors to bring it to life.

“Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen lead a company of ridiculous talents that pull you into the most interesting of places. I’m so grateful to be working with them, Chapter One, Michael Keillor and a very brilliant crew.”

Filming of Best Interests is currently under way in London and the series will air next year on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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