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BBC2 announces dramatic line-up for the new year

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New drama led by “strong authorship and individual voices” will be at the heart of BBC2’s 2006 schedule, according to the channel’s controller Roly Keating.

An adaptation of Alan Hollinghurst’s sexually explicit Booker prize-winning novel, The Line of Beauty, will be at the forefront of the new season. The book includes graphic descriptions of gay relationships, drug abuse and Aids in the upper echelons of Thatcherite London. It has been adapted from the original by Andrew Davies, and the series will star Dan Stevens, Tim McInnerny and Catherine Fedden.

Keating commented: “Strong authorship and individual voices are the backbone of the channel and I’m pleased that we’ll be launching this year with some really bold drama at the heart of the schedule.”

Contemporary playwrights will also be a focus, as three hard-hitting plays are broadcast on the channel. Shoot the Messenger, written by the Dennis Potter Screenwriting award-winner Sharon Foster, follows one man’s exploration of his attitude to and expectations of his black community. Meanwhile, deaf and hearing actors will be brought together in Soundproof, a whodunnit play directed by Bafta-winning Edmund Coulthard. The channel will also screen Shiny Shiny Bright New Hole in My Heart, an improvised drama written and directed by Marc Munden.

Historical factual drama is set to feature prominently. Pinochet in Surrey, starring Derek Jacobi, will dramatise the former Chilean dictator’s arrest in London in 1998 and the international incident that ensued. Mark Thatcher’s part in the bungled coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea will also be dramatised in Coup!, starring Robert Bathurst as the ex-PM’s prodigal son.

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