Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen to play married couple in BBC disability drama

·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·3-min read
Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen star in a new BBC drama. (Getty/PA)
Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen star in a new BBC drama. (Getty/PA)

Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan are set to play a married couple facing a battle for their disabled daughter's right to life in emotional new BBC drama Best Interests.

Horgan is known for comedies Catastrophe, This Way Up and for writing sitcom Motherland, but she takes on a much more hard-hitting project in this family drama from Help writer Jack Thorne which is currently filming for BBC One in London.

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They play parents Nicci and Andrew whose family is driven apart by an unthinkable decision over daughter Marnie, who has a life-threatening condition with doctors believing it is in her best interests to be allowed to die.

But Nicci and Andrew fight medical and legal systems to give their daughter the chance to live as they are faced with monumental questions about who should get to decide what happens to Marnie and in whose best interests it would be.

Sharon Horgan attends the Military Wives UK Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on February 24, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Sharon Horgan is better known for her comedy roles. (Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Daughters Marnie and Katie are played by Niamh Moriarty (A Christmas Carol) and Alison Oliver (Conversations With Friends).

Horgan said: "Best Interests broke me when I first read the script and then again after talking with Jack about it.

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"COVID seems to have shone a closer light on the desperate inequalities that exist for our disabled community so this felt very timely. It’s a big subject but it’s in Jack Thorne and Michael Keillor’s safe hands.

"I’m thrilled to be working on this story with a super talented cast, the wonderful Michael Sheen and Noma Dumezweni, and my gorgeous daughters; Alison Oliver and Niamh Moriarty."

Michael Sheen arriving for the Pride of Britain Awards held at the The Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
Michael Sheen plays Sharon Horgan's husband in the drama. (PA)

Good Omens star Sheen added: "Jack Thorne is such an extraordinary writer and he has approached this incredibly important and urgent subject with humanity, honesty and humour.

"I feel very fortunate to be part of this production and to work with the brilliant Sharon Horgan and some of the most talented actors around."

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The cast also includes Noma Dumezweni (The Undoing) as Samantha, Chizzy Akudolu (Holby City) as Mercy, Des McAleer (Hope Street) as Eddie, Mat Fraser (His Dark Materials) as Greg, Gary Beadle (Grantchester) as Frank, Jack Morris (Strike) as Tom, Pippa Haywood (Bodyguard) as Judge Spottiswood, Shane Zaza (Happy Valley) as Fred, Lucian Msamati (Gangs Of London) as Derek and Lisa McGrillis (Mum) as Brenda.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08:   Sharon Horgan attends the UK Premiere of
Sharon Horgan says she found the script moving. (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)

Jack Thorne, who also wrote The Virtues and adapted His Dark Materials, said: "Best Interests cases are both compelling and revealing. Our country has a very troubled relationship with disability and these cases put a spotlight on that.

"But our drama is first and foremost a love story and it needs incredible actors to bring it to life. Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen lead a company of ridiculous talents that pull you into the most interesting of places."

The four-part drama will air on BBC One next year.

Watch: Sharon Horgan talks future of TV post-COVID

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