Thomson and Tarbuck lead ITV drama plans

Liz Thomas
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Keith Allen, John Thomson and Liza Tarbuck are among the stars ITV has lined up for its new slate of drama projects for 2007.

Allen and Thomson will star in Mobile, billed as a multi-layered conspiracy thriller set in the telecoms industry against the backdrop of the Iraq war, while Tarbuck will feature in Sally Wainwright’s much-lauded sex and suburbia comedy drama Bonkers. One-off piece Time of Your Life will follow a thirtysomething woman that has woken up from a coma she has been in since her teens.

The move comes at a time when the network is keen to bring a wider audience to its output and reinvigorate the range and quality of its programming.

Nick Elliott, director of ITV drama, said: “Mobile, Bonkers and Time Of Your Life are a clear signal that ITV1 is the home of 21st century television drama. The plot for Mobile will keep you guessing from beginning to end, while Time of Your Life is heartbreakingly truthful. Bonkers will have a universal appeal. It’s funny, laugh out loud comedy drama.”

Earlier this year Elliott admitted that the broadcaster had taken its eye of the ball and missed opportunities when it came to commissioning, losing strong projects such as Life on Mars to the BBC.

Details of shows:

* Mobile is an ITV Production for ITV1. The 3×90 minute episodes are written by John Fay (Coronation Street, Clocking Off) and directed by Stuart Orme (Ghostboat, Cold Blood). Gina Cronk (Blue Murder, New Tricks) is the producer and the executive producer is Kieran Roberts.

* Bonkers is a Mersey TV and Sparkhouse Productions Ltd co-production for ITV1. The 6×60 series is written by Sally Wainwright (At Home With the Braithwaites, The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard), produced by Hugh Warren (At Home With the Braithwaites, The Chase) and the first two episodes directed by Juliet May (New Tricks, The Chase). The executive producer is Carolyn Reynolds.

* Time of Your Life is an ITV Production for ITV1, written by Charlie Martin (20 Things To Do Before You’re 30, Teachers) and directed by David Blair (The Street, Whatever Love Means, Malice Aforethought). It is produced by Emmy Award-winning Barney Reisz (Elizabeth I) and is executive produced by Charles Elton.

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