Joe Maddison’s War

Sunday, 19 September 2010, 9:00PM – 11:00PM on ITV1

KEVIN WHATELY (Lewis, The Children) leads the cast as shipyard worker Joe Maddison. Written by multi-awarding winning writer Alan Plater (The Last of The British Bombshells, A Very British Coup), produced by Mammoth Screen, and commissioned by ITV, the 1 x 120 min drama was filmed on location in Newcastle.
Whately stars alongside, ROBSON GREEN (Wire In The Blood, Northern Lights), DEREK JACOBI (The Old Curiosity Shop, Cadfael), MELANIE HILL (Stardust, The Street), TREVOR FOX (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Emmerdale), and JOHN WOODVINE (Vanity Fair, Z Cars).

Set in Newcastle in 1939, Joe Maddison’s War features shipyard worker Joe (Kevin Whately) who feels emasculated and past his prime; too old to serve in the war, and he’s shocked when his wife leaves him for a younger naval officer. Needing a new challenge, Joe and his friend Harry (Robson Green) reluctantly volunteer to join the Home Guard. A decision which leads Joe on a journey of self discovery, learning lessons of heroism and friendship, and also love…

A recipient of the Dennis Potter BAFTA Award in 2005, the late Alan Plater, explained why Joe Maddison’s War is a drama project that meant so much to him:

“My family background is strictly Tyneside ��” the earlier generations worked in and around the shipyards, my favourite uncle was in the Home Guard, and my head is still full of family anecdotes from the period.”

He added: “Joe Maddison’s War splices three elements: solid historical research (the Home Guard in the North-East was one of the few to engage in direct contact with the enemy, mainly anti-aircraft and rocket batteries): half-remembered family folklore and gossip: and a lot of simple old��”fashioned invention. Add them together and it’s a love letter to a remarkable generation of ordinary folk ��” the good, the bad and the gorblimey ��” who proved their amazing ability to be extraordinary and heroic. I owe them everything.”

Alan’s credits go back almost half a century and include: “Z Cars”, “The Beiderbecke Affair”, “Fortunes of War”, “A Very British Coup” and “The Last of the Blonde Bombshells”.

Joe Maddison’s War has been commissioned for ITV by Drama Commissioners Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes.

“Alan very sadly passed away in June and this is a very fitting tribute to his memory and a personal piece for ITV,” said Sally. “It’s a poignant and witty script and it’s fantastic to bring Kevin and Robson together onscreen for the first time.”

Joe Maddison’s War is set in Newcastle and was executive produced by Michele Buck and Damien Timmer and produced by Howard Ella.

“Joe Maddison’s War is a beautiful script, full of comedy, sadness and joy – it’s Alan Plater at the top of his game.” added Damien.

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