BBC drama to re-imagine The Beatles story

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Andrew Knott, best known for appearing in The History Boys both on stage and screen, is to star in a BBC drama that imagines what would have happened if The Beatles had been turned down by George Martin.

Called Sorry Boys You Failed the Audition, the BBC Radio 4 drama has been penned by Ray Connolly, who wrote the films That’ll Be the Day and Stardust.

In the drama Knott plays John Lennon, with Stephen Fletcher as Paul McCartney, Luke Broughton as George Harrison and Daniel Crossley as Ringo Starr.

It is set in 1962, the year the band auditioned for George Martin at Parlaphone Records. By this time the group had been turned down by every other record company, and the drama imagines what would have happened had Martin, played by Jonathan Keeble, done the same.

It is told through the eyes of their fan club secretary, Freda, played by Sara Bahadori.

Connolly said: "Based on my rather long short story of the same title, it asks the question – what would have happened to the Beatles if they’d failed their audition at EMI in 1962. I suppose it’s really a case of the path not taken for them, a “sliding doors” situation. But although the play is about The Beatles, it’s much more about Freda, their fan club secretary, and what happens to her after The Beatles break up in 1963, as they may well have done."

It will be broadcast on November 14 at 2.15pm.