English director Shane Meadows is set to make his first-ever series for the BBC. Meadows has revealed it be a dramatised adaptation of Benjamin Myers’ award-winning historical novel The Gallows Pole.
The mastermind behind 2006’s This Is England – and its three spin-off series – will helm the small screen adaptation of the 2018 Walter Scott Prize-winning book. It is scheduled to shoot with UK-Irish production house Element Pictures later in 2021.
It has been reported that a call-out for first-time, non-professional actors was published in March by Shaheen Baig Casting, explicitly looking for men and women to play characters between 25-45 years old. The company is also said to be considering professional actors.
The series will be closely based on the 2017 novel. The book is a fictionalised re-telling of the true story of 18th-century ironworker David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners. Hartley was the head of a team producing counterfeit coins.
Meadows has said: “The Gallows Pole is an incredible true story, little known outside of Yorkshire, about a group of very naughty men and women who started clipping and counterfeiting coins out in the Moors as a way to keep themselves and their community alive.” He continued. “I’ve never made a period drama before so I’m absolutely buzzing, and to be doing it with Piers (Wenger – BBC’s director of drama). his incredible team, and Element Pictures is nothing short of an honour.”
Meadows’ previous TV work was the three-episode series The Virtues, which starred This Is England actor Stephen Graham. It aired on Channel Four in 2019. His last feature-length film was the 2013 documentary The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone.
In May last year, Meadows said he wants to return to This Is England for a series set in the early ’00s.
Watch the trailer for The Virtues below.