Celebrated novelist Patrick Gale has written a new gay-themed drama for BBC One.
Produced by Kudos, Man In An Orange Shirt tells two gay love stories which take place 60 years apart and are linked by family and a painting that holds a secret that echoes down the generations.
Gale’s novels include the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition as well as most recent Costa-nominated novel A Place Called Winter.
Commenting on the drama, he said: “Man In An Orange Shirt is the most exciting screen project I’ve worked on to date: an original drama exploring strands of gay male experience since the 1940s.
“It has been such a privilege to be given such an open brief and then allowed to run with it.
“I don’t want to give too much away but after much experimenting, we’ve ended up with two hour-long films – one set in the 1940s and 50s, one set in the violently contrasted present; one depicting a love story made impossible by pressures from society, one a love story nearly derailed by the long-term fallout from the 1940s story.
“People who know my novels will be unsurprised to hear that that stories give equal focus to wives and mothers and are very much about tensions between family bonds, the need to be good and the urge to seize happiness.
“I hope they’ll appeal equally to straight and gay viewers, but also that they’ll leave either side feeling challenged about things they take for granted.”
Diederick Santer, Executive Producer for Kudos, says: “I’m so proud to be sharing an original work from Patrick Gale with the BBC One audience. Man In An Orange Shirt is a treat – both epic and intimate, and as touching and entertaining as it is thought-provoking.”
Lucy Richer, Acting Controller of Drama Commissioning and BBC Executive Producer, added: “Patrick is an outstanding and bestselling novelist whose stories connect with readers worldwide.
“Distinctive, original voices are at the heart of BBC Drama, and we are thrilled to be making his first original television drama for BBC One.
“Man In An Orange Shirt has all the hallmarks of a Patrick Gale novel: captivating stories with unforgettable characters who will strike a chord with us all.”