A new BBC drama film about one of the victims of the UK football sexual abuse scandal is to hit our TV screens this spring.
BBC Two has announced that it is to air the new 80-minute feature-length drama that tells the “impactful and important” story of a former professional footballer, Andy Woodward, whose brave revelations about the sexual abuse he suffered as a youth player sent shockwaves throughout the industry and across the globe.
Floodlights was written by the award-winning screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh, directed by BAFTA-nominated Nick Rowland, and adapted for TV by production company Expectation.
The film has been made with the full cooperation of Andy Woodward, the BBC says.
In November 2016, Andy shocked the world when he found the strength to go public about horrific sexual abuse by his youth coach, Barry Bennell.
After doing so, hundreds more men – many also victims of Bennell, who worked as a coach with connections to a number of North West clubs – had the courage to speak up about their harrowing experiences of abuse too, which contributed to lifting the lid on a national scandal in the country’s most popular sport.
A description for the factual drama by the BBC reads: “Floodlights depicts Andy’s life, from a boy with a passion for the game to a successful professional footballer who seemingly has the world at his feet, until, no longer able to ignore the haunting memories of the abuse he was subject to by his youth coach, his career is cut short.
“It examines the power and control held by Bennell, grooming young players and their families with the promise of making their dreams come true.”
It stars former Shameless star, Gerard Kearns, as Andy Woodward.
Jonas Armstrong (Hollington Drive, The Bay), Morven Christie (Lockwood & Co, The A Word), and Steve Edge (Benidorm, The Madame Blanc Mysteries) also form part of the wider cast.
Speaking ahead of the film’s release this spring, Andy Woodward said: “Since speaking out in 2016, I’ve wanted to continue to encourage people to talk without fear, to make a change. Floodlights tells my story, which no child should ever have to go through.
“I hope this film helps to stop abuse in football and in all areas of life.”
Gerard Kearns added of his role: “I am honoured to be playing Andrew Woodward, and hope that we have done his story justice.”
Floodlights will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this spring.
Featured Image – BBC
TV & Showbiz
Matt Hancock has been paid £45k to go on SAS: Who Dares Wins before I’m A Celebrity stint
Matt Hancock appears to have become a bit of a reality TV star after it’s emerged that he’s also been paid £45,000 for an appearance on SAS: Who Dares Win.
The politician, who was suspended as an MP for his recent stint on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here will be back on our screens showing once again that he’s a ‘human’ next year.
The former health secretary has declared the £45k payment today in an update to the MPs’ Register of Interests.
It’s understood that he filmed an episode of the Channel 4 series before he flew out to join celebs including Boy George and Jill Scott on ITV’s show in Australia.
Unlike Hancock’s most recent reality TV run, the SAS: Who Dares Wins episode was filmed while parliament was in recess, between 24 September and 8 October.
The show puts both famous faces and ordinary contestants through a mock-special forces training expedition.
Their mental, emotional and physical strength is tested through challenges like cold-water swims, abseils, marathon hikes and interrogations.
Hancock is expected to face his peers for the first time since going on TV when he returns to parliament on Wednesday.
He eventually placed third in I’m A Celebrity, losing out on the crown to Jill Scott MBE and Owen Warner.
He was greeted as he left the jungle by Gina Colangelo – their affair led to Hancock’s resignation after footage emerged of them kissing while Covid restrictions were still in place.
Featured image: Channel 4
TV & Showbiz
TV doctor Ranj Singh calls out racist joke made at British Curry Awards ceremony
This week, the British Curry Awards held a glitzy black-tie ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the UK’s curry industry.
The prestigious ceremony, also informally known as the ‘Curry Oscars’, takes place every year – seeing a number of awards handed out to the best Asian restaurants across the country.
However, this year’s event was sullied when a white guest presenter made a racist joke on stage, asking: “Why has India never won the World Cup? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it.”
Taking to Twitter after the event last night, TV Doctor and personality Ranj Singh blasted the presenter who made the joke, asking his 174,000 followers “I’m sorry but how is this OK?”
The TV Doctor then went on to release a statement, in which he first said he was “honoured and privileged to be invited as a guest” to the ceremony before continuing to outline why he was ” not the only person that felt uncomfortable tonight.”
Singh asked how the awards ceremony could truly be representing the Asian community fairly when “the host is white, the judging panel is entirely white, the performers on stage are over 90% white”, a racist joke is made on stage, and organisers were “auctioning off a piece by Winston Churchill”, whose relationship with Indian (and Bengali people specifically) is known to have been problematic.
The tweet, shared by Singh on the social media platform last night, has been liked over 1,000 times and retweeted more than 300 at the time of writing.
He then signed off for the evening, writing: “The number of people trying to justify an inappropriate and racist joke on here is saddening. But then again this is Twitter.”
Others have since taken to the platform to agree with Singh, with used David B tweeting: “I couldn’t summarise this better myself.
“The organisers did not consider that #RepresentationMatters – it felt uncomfortable to see so many white people to present, host and judge the awards when there are so many others that could have EASILY represented the community.”
Every year the awards ceremony welcomes a number of high-profile figures, including prominent personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs and curry restaurant owners and their staff from across the country.
In previous years, attendees have included cricketer Azeem Rafiq, Love Island contestant Priya Gopaldas, and The Apprentice winner Sian Gabbidon.
Following the awards ceremony, organisers have said that an investigation is now under way.