Friday, 14 December 2018
Torvill & Dean - Airs Tuesday 25th December 2018
Starring Will Tudor (Game Of Thrones, Humans) and Poppy Lee Friar (Ackley Bridge, In The Club) as the iconic leads, ITV's one-off feature-length film explores Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s early years and the creative impetus that finally drove them to become ice dancing royalty.
Written by acclaimed film, television and theatre writer, William Ivory (Made in Dagenham, Burton and Taylor), the inspirational drama has been produced by leading production company Darlow Smithson Productions and will follow the pair’s humble beginnings and family life in Nottingham and how they came together to become Olympic champions.
Acting royalty, Anita Dobson (The Rebel, Call the Midwife) takes the role of Miss Perry, Jayne’s first coach at the Nottingham Ice Stadium, whilst Stephen Tompkinson (The Split, DCI Banks) plays Jayne’s father George and Jo Hartley (Bliss, This Is England ’90) plays her mum Betty. Dean Andrews (The Moorside, Last Tango in Halifax) and Christine Bottomley (Fearless, In the Club) play Chris’s parents, Colin and Mavis, and Jaime Winstone (Babs, After Hours) is Janet Sawbridge, the ice dancing instructor who pairs Chris and Jayne together for the first time. Susan Earl (I Want My Wife Back, Reggie Perrin) takes the role of Betty Dean.
Torvill & Dean is executive produced by Darlow Smithson’s Emily Dalton and writer William Ivory. It is produced by Emma Burge (Shameless, The Village) and directed by Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky, Small Faces). Northern Ireland Screen are co-production partners with Darlow Smithson and international distribution is handled by Endemol Shine International.
The Nottingham-based biopic opens in 1968, showing Jayne and Chris as children in their respective family homes. Exploring how the pair were individually introduced to ice skating, Jayne's first experience on the ice is during a school trip where she immediately shows potential and is taken under the wing of trainer Miss Perry. Meanwhile, following his parents' separation, Chris is given a pair of skates by his new stepmother, Betty, which encourages him to try out the sport.
As the years progress, ice skating becomes a big part of both of their lives. Jayne continues to train with Miss Perry, whilst Chris uses the ice as an escape from his complicated family life. Sensing that Jayne needs a partner to allow her more expression, Miss Perry introduces her to Andrew who she starts to train with, whilst Chris begins a partnership with fellow skater, Leanne. However, creative differences within both partnerships eventually lead to their breakdown, and it isn't long before Chris' trainer, Janet Sawbridge, puts Jayne and Chris together.
Despite being unsure at first, the duo blossom together and they're soon excelling at a competitive level. With both having full-time jobs and commitments beyond the rink though, they must work hard to achieve their dreams.