Through his ITV Studios drama label he will oversee four, 15-minute episodes, which will be written and performed by established British drama talent and reflect on how the pandemic has changed lives in a thought-provoking and humorous way.
Pope has penned one of the episodes himself, while Gaby Chiappe (The Level), Neil McKay (The Moorside) and William Ivory (Torvill & Dean) have also written an episode each. Paul Whittington (White House Farm) and Paul Andrew Williams (A Confession) are attached as directors.
Casting is yet to be announced, but the actors involved will collaborate with those they are self-isolating with to shoot the stories themselves, working with a remote director. This is will ensure that the series observes the UK government’s strict social distancing measures.
Pope said: “Like everybody else I have been isolating at home, and in my case watching my wife suffering badly with the virus. I wanted to do something to catch the mood. I knew it would be very difficult to try and shoot dramas in these circumstances, but I felt the public would understand if things were a little rough and ready, if we at least had a go.”
ITV head of drama Polly Hill added: “These are moving and funny tales of isolation with an incredibly talented team on and off-screen. They are stories told from isolation to an audience in isolation. It’s not often drama can be made this quickly so huge thanks to everyone involved in making this happen.”
ITV expects to get Isolation Stories on air in the coming weeks and the series will be distributed by ITV Studios. Pope is the executive producer alongside Tom Dunbar. Pope’s other credits include Philomena, Cilla and Hatton Garden.
ITV’s announcement follows a similar initiative by HBO Europe. The WarnerMedia broadcaster has enlisted five Spanish directors to film their own stories from isolation for anthology series At Home (En Casa).
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