Soap star Jill stars in new drama filmed in Soli­hull

Solihull News - - IT TALK - GRA­HAM YOUNG gra­ham. young@reach­plc.com

FOR­MER soap star Jill Halfpenny is one of the lead­ing names in new BBC drama Dark Mon£ y which ex­plores the fall­out from sex­ual abuse and is be­ing filmed partly in Soli­hull.

New­cas­tle- born Jill, now 43, has starred in both Coro­na­tion Street and East-En­ders – and won the sec­ond se­ries of Strictly Come Danc­ing in 2004 when she part­nered Dar­ren Ben­nett.

A TV crew ar­rived in Monkspath Hall Road, Soli­hull, re­cently ready to shoot some scenes for the moral­ity tale se­ries.

Dark Mon3y wlll tell the story of a work­ing class Lon­don fam­ily called The Men­sahs. Their youngest son has re­cently fin­ished film­ing a ma­jor Hol­ly­wood movie role, but the fam­ily’s world is turned up­side down when he re­veals he was abused in the US by a renowned film­maker.

Rather than press charges against a celebrity, the fam­ily ac­cept a pay­ment from the film­maker in a bid to move their lives on, only to find the price of tak­ing the money may be higher than they thought.

The se­ries of four 60- minute episodes has been writ­ten by Levi David Ad­dai ( Damilola, Our Loved Boy).

Jill played Re­becca Hop­kins in Coro­na­tion Street from 1999 to 2000 and was also Kate Mitchell ap­pear­ing in EastEn­ders from 2002- 2005.

She has also played Izzie Red­path in Water­loo Road ( 20062007) and Jill Drum­mond in Hu­mans ( 2015).

Her more re­cent cred­its in­clude In The Club, Three Girls and Walk Like a Pan­ther, this year’s wrestling film set in the 1980s.

Jill says: “I’m thrilled to be play­ing Sam in Dark Mon£ y.

“Get­ting the op­por­tu­nity to work with Lewis Arnold again is fan­tas­tic and I’m re­ally ex­cited to work with Babou Ceesay on this in­cred­i­ble project that Levi has cre­ated.” Babou Ceesay, who was Bafta- nom­i­nated as best lead­ing ac­tor on Damilola, Our Loved Boy, added: “I’m de­lighted to be head­ing back to the BBC for Dark Mon£ y and to be re­united with Levi to tell this pow­er­ful story.

“I’m also look­ing for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing with Jill, Lewis and the team.”

Also join­ing the cast are Re­becca Front ( War and Peace, Poldark), Su­san Wokoma ( Crazy­head, Chew­ing Gum), Olive Gray ( Home from Home), Ellen Thomas ( Teach­ers, EastEn­ders), Joseph May ( Res­i­dent Evil), Rudi Dhar­ma­lingam ( Our Girl) and Gary Bea­dle ( EastEn­ders).

Piers Wenger, con­troller of BBC Drama, added: “We are thrilled to be work­ing along­side the bril­liant Levi again.

“In Dark Mon£ y he has cre­ated a grip­ping, timely and orig­i­nal script, with the tal­ented Babou and Jill at the heart of the story.”

Jill Halfpenny and co- star Babou Ceesay in the show

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