A mum’s worst nightmare
Sally Lindsay on starring in a drama based on the life story of murdered student Sophie Lancaster
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