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The BBC announce production has begun on the five-part unconventional thriller, The Following Events Are Based On A Pack Of Lies, the first original series from sibling writing duo Penelope Skinner and Ginny Skinner.

This is the story of two very different women (Alice Newman and Cheryl Harker) and the conman (Dr Rob Chance) they have in common; a dark, funny, and unpredictable thriller about three remarkable characters trapped in a tangled triangle of complexly layered half-truths and lies of epic proportions.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste (In Fabric, Boxing Day), Alistair Petrie (Sex Education, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Night Manager) and Rebekah Staton (Raised by Wolves, Home) lead the cast as Cheryl, Rob and Alice respectively.

Cheryl (Baptiste) is a bestselling fantasy fiction author who, recently bereaved, now lives alone with her poodle, Goblin. Alice (Staton) is a formidable PA, a mother, and a lifelong Madonna fan. Rob (Petrie) is an eccentric and celebrated ecopreneur (allegedly).

Three apparent strangers with nothing in common... except Rob’s dupes, deceptions and delusions.

This is a story about lies and artifice, about our weakness for self-deception, and about the rapid ascent of the modern fraudster. Asking why do ‘respectable’ psychopaths rise to the top?

Why does a posh man in a suit still seem so plausible next to a working-class mum in a pink cape? And if you can’t beat them, is joining them really so bad?

Above all, this is also the story of an unexpected friendship between two very different women and the power they’ll discover when they raise their voices in joyous rage. As they finally find the courage and self-belief to take charge, the con is on to try and take a predator down.

Joining the formidable trio are Romola Garai (The Hour, Emma, Atonement) who plays Juno Fish, Alice’s boss and a prominent designer who is famous for her unique brand of idiosyncratic floral patterns and products, Derek Jacobi (Last Tango in Halifax, The Crown, Gladiator) who plays Sir Ralph Unwin who may or may not be being scammed by Rob.

Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh, Mindhorn, Nathan Barley) who plays Alice’s painfully predictable, deeply kind, magician husband Benjy, Karl Johnson (Hot Fuzz, Lark Rise to Candleford) who plays Bill, Alice’s father and confidant, and Ellie Haddington (Enola Holmes, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) who plays Diane, Alice’s long suffering, insufferable mother.

Creators Penelope and Ginny Skinner say: “We couldn’t be more delighted that, thanks to SISTER’s expert support and encouragement, this project has attracted such a talented group of collaborators to bring it to fruition...

"With Robbie McKillop and Nicole Charles’ insightful and creative direction along with an absolute dream cast, including stars like Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Rebekah Staton and Alistair Petrie, we are hugely proud that this show has found a home at the BBC. ”

The SISTER team adds: “We are so excited that this extraordinary cast has joined us to bring these scripts to life under the helm of such creative, collaborative directors as Robbie and Nicole. We feel incredibly lucky to be working with such a unique and talented team, and it's testament to Penny and Ginny's writing that we are!”

Jo McClellan, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama, says: “The BBC are thrilled to begin production on The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies with this fantastic cast and the brilliant SISTER production team...

"Penny and Ginny have written an incredibly fun show which highlights how susceptible we all are to the modern fraudster, how they are everywhere and hiding in plain sight.”

Created and written by Penelope Skinner and Ginny Skinner, The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies is produced by SISTER for BBC One.


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