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The BBC has commissioned Dear England, a new drama series about Gareth Southgate and the England men’s football team, based on James Graham’s (Sherwood, The Way, Quiz) smash hit National Theatre play of the same name.

Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale, Shakespeare in Love) will star as Gareth Southgate. Rupert Goold (Judy, King Charles III, The Hollow Crown), who directed Dear England on stage, will direct the series.

The four-part drama will be written by James Graham and made for BBC One and BBC iPlayer by Left Bank Pictures (The Crown, Quiz, Sitting in Limbo).

It’s time to change the game. The country that gave the world football has since delivered a painful pattern of loss. Why can’t the England team win at their own game?

With the worst track record for penalties in the world, Gareth Southgate knows he needs to open his mind and face up to the years of hurt to take team and country back to the promised land.

Dear England is a fictionalised account of the struggles and successes of England’s football teams, based on extensive research and interviews. The stage play premiered at the National Theatre to five-star reviews and a sell-out run in 2023, before transferring to London’s West End.

Andy Harries, CEO of Left Bank Pictures and executive producer on Dear England, says: “Dear England is a theatrical tour de force from one of the most exciting playwrights of our generation. Left Bank Pictures are thrilled to be working with James Graham once again and I’m certain that the TV adaptation of Dear England will be as ground-breaking as the play itself.”

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama says: “Dear England was a back-of-the-net triumph on stage, and we could not be happier to work with James Graham, Joseph Fiennes, Rupert Goold and the team to give it the perfect home on the BBC. A story about the England team, football, national identity and so much more, this is hugely entertaining must-see television drama.”

Dear England (4x60) was commissioned by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama. It is written by James Graham and will be directed by Rupert Goold. Executive producers are Andy Harries for Left Bank Pictures, Jo McClellan for the BBC, James Graham and Rupert Goold. Sony Pictures Television will distribute the series internationally.

Further details about Dear England will be announced in due course.


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