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Emma Thompson joins Russell T Davies' BBC1 drama Years and Years

Saving Mr Banks

Story by Jack Foley

EMMA Thompson has joined the cast of acclaimed writer Russell T Davies’s new BBC1 drama Years and Years.

The award-winning actress joins an ensemble that already includes Jessica Hynes, Rory Kinnear, Ruth Madeley, T’Nia Miller, Anne Reid and Russell Tovey.

Production for Years And Years has begun in Manchester. The drama is being described as a unique and ambitious six-part limited series charting one family surviving the future.

As Britain is rocked by unstable political, economic and technological advances, we follow the Lyons family as their complex lives converge on one crucial night in 2019.

Then, over the next 15 years, the twists and turns of everyday life are explored as we find out if this ordinary family could ever change the world.

Two-time Oscar winner Thompson (The Children Act, Late Night) stars as Vivienne Rook, an outspoken celebrity turned political figure whose controversial opinions divide the nation.

She’s a new breed of politician, an entertainer, a rebel, a trickster, and her rise to power leads us into an unknown future.

BAFTA-nominated Kinnear (Spectre, Peterloo) plays Stephen Lyons, a financial advisor and the family’s peacekeeper who is married to Celeste played by T’Nia Miller, (Obey, Marcella), an ambitious and opinionated accountant.

Tovey (The History Boys, Quantico) will play Daniel Lyons, a hard-working housing officer and Stephen’s brother. Their sister, Edith, played by Hynes (Paddington 2, W1A), is radical, dangerous and calculating with a secret life.

And completing the siblings is heavily pregnant Rosie, played by Madeley, (Cold Feet, Don’t Take My Baby).

Anne Reid (Last Tango In Halifax, The Mother) presides over the family as Muriel, imperial grandmother to the Lyons.

Russell T Davies commented: “This is a dream cast, put together by Andy Pryor, the man who found Jodie Whittaker to be Doctor Who. I’m very lucky, and very excited to start filming.”

The drama marks the ninth collaboration for acclaimed screenwriter Russell T Davies (A Very English Scandal, Doctor Who) and Red’s Nicola Shindler, whose working relationship spans over 20 years.

The partnership is known for producing relevant and timely emotionally charged dramas having previously created hit series including Queer As Folk, Casanova, Cucumber, Banana, Bob & Rose and The Second Coming.

Nicola Shindler CEO StudioCanal UK, Executive producer for Red Production Company, said: “No other writer could have written such an original, important and entertaining state-of-the-nation drama, with a family at its centre that an audience will want to spend time with. I’m thrilled a cast of this calibre will bring them to life.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, added: “Russell T Davies is a master storyteller and we are utterly thrilled with this truly magnificent cast who are set to bring this unique and captivating family drama to life on BBC One.”