A mum’s worst night­mare

Sally Lind­say on star­ring in a drama based on the life story of mur­dered stu­dent So­phie Lan­caster

TV Times - - Interview - re­becca Ma­honey

NEW DRAMA Mur­dered for Be­ing Dif­fer­ent Sun­day / BBC3 / from 10.00Am

On a sum­mer’s evening in Au­gust 2007, stu­dent So­phie Lan­caster, 20, and her boyfriend Robert Maltby, 21, were walk­ing through Stub­bylee Park in Bacup, Lan­cashire, when they were at­tacked by a gang of teenagers.

Tar­geted be­cause they were Goths, the cou­ple were sav­agely beaten, kicked and stamped on. Trag­i­cally, So­phie later died in hos­pi­tal. Robert, how­ever, sur­vived, but faced a long, painful re­cov­ery. As the 10th an­niver­sary of So­phie’s death ap­proaches, the har­row­ing story is told in a one-off BBC3 drama from the team be­hind the Bafta-win­ning Mur­dered By My Boyfriend and Don’t Take My Baby.

Nico Mi­ral­le­gro (The Vil­lage) and Abi­gail Lawrie (The Ca­sual Va­cancy) star as the cou­ple, while for­mer Cor­rie star Sally Lind­say plays Robert’s heart­bro­ken mother, Tracy. Here, Sally tells us more…

What do you re­mem­ber about the tragedy?

Just the hor­ror of it all, and the fact that they were at­tacked be­cause they looked dif­fer­ent was so shock­ing. It

was such a big story. This drama will tell you things you didn’t know, though, and hope­fully we’ve given the story the jus­tice it de­serves.

Why did you want the role?

I was so pleased when I got the part be­cause it’s dif­fer­ent from any­thing I’ve done be­fore. But when I read the script, I was like, ‘Right, I’ve got to do this prop­erly’. The drama’s told from Robert’s per­spec­tive, but I didn’t meet the Malt­bys my­self, so I’ve been re­ally con­scious about por­tray­ing Tracy. I just tried to imag­ine what she must have gone through, be­ing told her son might not pull through, or that he might never be the same again, and ask­ing my­self how would I re­act?

Did you draw on your own ex­pe­ri­ences of be­ing a mum?

I’ve got twins [Vic­tor and Louie, six] and two [grown-up] stepchil­dren [Cur­tis and Krista­bel], and while I don’t think you need to be a mum to play the part, I think it helped. So I tried to imag­ine my sons when they are older and what I would feel if one of them was ly­ing in hos­pi­tal. I get up­set just think­ing about it. Will we see you in more hard-hit­ting dra­mas now? I hope so be­cause I want to flex that mus­cle again, but I’ve also re­cently filmed the last-ever Mount Pleas­ant, which is com­ing up very soon. for some peo­ple, though, I will be Cor­rie’s

Shel­ley Unwin un­til the end of time. But that’s fine with me.

Hope­fully we’ve given the story the jus­tice it de­serves

From the Bafta-win­ning team be­hind Mur­dered by My Boyfriend and Don’t Take My Baby, this one-off drama tells the true story of young stu­dents So­phie Lan­caster and Robert Maltby, who, in 2007, were at­tacked by a gang of teenagers in a park in Bacup, Lan­cashire. Tar­geted be­cause they were goths, So­phie later died in hos­pi­tal but Rob sur­vived. For­mer Corona­tion Street star Sally Lind­say stars as Robert’s mother and This Is Eng­land’s Chanel Cress­well is a de­tec­tive. An up­set­ting, but sen­si­tive and pow­er­ful retelling of a sense­less at­tack and its af­ter­math.

Abi­gail Lawrie and Nico Mi­ral­le­gro as So­phie and robert

Abi­gail Lawrie and Nico Mi­ral­le­gro star

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