The Walking Dead’s David Morrissey to Star in BBC One Thriller The Driver

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BBC One today announced “The Driver,” a new three-part thrilling drama written by Danny Brocklehurst (“Clocking Off,” “Exile,” “Accused”), starring David Morrissey (“The Walking Dead”) in the lead role.

“The Driver” is co-created by BAFTA-winning writer Danny Brocklehurst and Jim Poyser, co-produced by new production company Highfield Pictures and RED Production Company for BBC One and is directed by Jamie Payne (“Doctor Who,” “The White Queen,” “The Hour”).

“The Driver,” commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller BBC One and Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning, is the story of an ordinary man who – because of family mystery, frustration with his job and his life – makes a terrible decision.

David Morrissey stars as taxi driver Vince McKee, Claudie Blakeley (“What Remains,” “The Nightwatch”) plays his wife, Ros, and Sacha Parkinson (“Coronation Street”) as their daughter Katie in BBC One’s brand-new original British drama.

“The Driver” also stars Ian Hart, acting with David Morrissey for the first time since their breakthrough performance in “One Summer,” Colm Meaney in his first UK television acting role since Police drama “Strangers” in 1982, plus Shaun Dingwall (“Charles II: The Power And The Passion,” “Above Suspicion”) and Lee Ross (“Eastenders,” “Dramarama”).

Writer Danny Brocklehurst says: “‘The Driver’ is a passion project for me and I’m proud of the way it is both a character drama and a thriller. As with all my work there is a strong emotional core and it explores ordinary lives pushed into extraordinary situations. I’m thrilled to be making such a powerful drama for BBC One. The majority of my work has been here and as writer you are given incredible authorship, which is a fantastic thing.

“I have always wanted to work with Dave Morrissey, one of the UK’s finest actors, and I’m delighted to be finally getting the chance. The entire cast is amazing and it is a privilege to have them on board.”

David Morrissey plays Vince and is an executive producer. He says: “I am very excited to be staring in ‘The Driver’ and to be working with such a great cast, which includes Ian Hart, Colm Meaney and Claudie Blakley. It is the first production with my own production company, Highfield Pictures alongside RED Production Company up in Manchester. Written by Danny Brocklehurst, it is the story of a mini cab driver who tries to turn his life around with the help of an old friend. Needless to say, things don’t go exactly according to plan!”

Following a family mystery, Vince blames himself and his inadequacies and, out of this crisis, he accepts an offer to start driving for a criminal gang. But it is ultimately a redemptive story about a man who, under incredible circumstances, gets a second chance.

Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, says: “‘The Driver’ is a gripping tale of an ordinary life turned upside down and it’s wonderful to announce David Morrissey returning to BBC One after his fine performance in this week’s critically acclaimed hit ‘The 7.39.’”

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, adds: “‘The Driver’ adds to our ambitious and diverse range of drama for BBC One and, with such a talented team behind it, it is set to be a real treat for viewers in 2014.”

RED Production Company’s founder and executive producer Nicola Shindler adds: “We’re really excited with the cast we’ve assembled and we are going to make something original, funny and thrilling at the same time. This feels unlike any other script we’ve worked on because of the clever combination of real, family human dilemmas tied into high-end thrills.”

Jolyon Symonds, Producer for Highfield Pictures, says: “We’re delighted to be working with Nicola and Red in bringing Danny Brocklehurst’s brilliant scripts to the screen. We have a wonderful cast in place and one of the most exciting directors around in Jamie Payne to deliver a show full of emotion, humour and action.”

It is produced by Jolyon Symonds and executive produced by David Morrissey for Highfield Pictures. Nicola Shindler is executive producer for Red Productions and Polly Hill, BBC Head of Independent Drama for BBC One.

Filming starts in and around Manchester this week and the series will premiere on BBC One later this year.

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