Belfast Telegraph

BBC commissions Windrush drama Sitting In Limbo

The drama tells the real-life story of a man’s struggle to be accepted as a British citizen.

The drama has been commissioned by BBC One (Anthony Devlin/PA)
The drama has been commissioned by BBC One (Anthony Devlin/PA)

BBC One has commissioned a drama about the Windrush immigration scandal.

Entitled Sitting In Limbo, the feature-length drama was written by Stephen S. Thompson and is based on the true story of his brother Anthony Bryan and his personal struggle to be accepted as a British citizen.

The drama is set in 2016, four years after the coalition government introduced the hostile environment policy.

After living in the UK since he was eight, Bryan decides to visit his elderly mother in Jamaica.

He has never held, or needed, a passport before, and while filling out the paperwork at the Passport Office he is stunned to discover that there is no record of him as a British citizen – despite having lived in the country since 1965.

He finds himself stuck in limbo, forced to leave his job and unable to claim benefits.

In the early hours of a Sunday morning, he is forcibly removed from his home and detained as an illegal immigrant.

Thompson said: “Like everyone caught up in the Windrush scandal, Anthony has been severely traumatised by the experience.

“It has badly affected his confidence and left him questioning his very identity.

“As his brother, I saw what he went through first-hand.

“I couldn’t bear the idea that he had suffered in vain and it made me determined to tell his story.

“For me, this is personal.”

For me, this is personal Sitting In Limbo writer Stephen S. Thompson

Lila Rawlings, executive producer at production company Left Bank Pictures, said: “Stephen’s first-hand experience of his brother’s ordeal enables us to tell this story from inside the family; to really understand what it feels like to be betrayed by the country one has called home for over 50 years.

“This will be a drama about our modern Britain and is, in many ways, a precursor to where we find ourselves today.

“The BBC has supported and championed our work on the project from the very first meeting, and we believe it’s the perfect home for the show.”

Sitting In Limbo was commissioned by Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content.

Wenger said: “Stephen’s script is terrific and we’re honoured his first screenplay for TV will be on BBC One.

“Anthony’s story is incredibly important and one that needs to be told with urgency.”

PA

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