Soap star Jill stars in new drama filmed in Solihull
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