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Corrie's Charlie Lawson is part of cast in new Northern Ireland-shot war drama


Hattie Morahan

Hattie Morahan

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Hattie Morahan

A new BBC drama set in Northern Ireland during World War Two will see Charlie Lawson return to the small screen.

My Mother And Other Strangers stars English actress Hattie Morahan and has been written by Barry Devlin, the man behind Ballykissangel and The Darling Buds Of May.

The series, filmed here, follows the fortunes of the Coyne family and their neighbours as they struggle to maintain normal life following the arrival of 4,000 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) servicemen and women in their rural parish in 1943.

Lawson, who became a household name playing Jim McDonald in Coronation Street, assumes the role of parish GP, Dr Black.

Stephen Wright, head of drama for BBC Northern Ireland, said he was pleased that Morahan will be leading the cast as Rose Coyne.

"Barry Devlin's scripts are formed by his love of life with all its complexities, and a love for the place and people where he grew up," he added.

"The scripts are in safe hands with the cast and our producer Grainne Marmion.

"Adrian Shergold will do a brilliant job bringing this unique time and world to life."

At the heart of the series is a romantic story involving Rose and her husband Michael Coyne in a dangerous love triangle with a handsome and charming USAAF officer, Captain Dreyfuss.

Owen McDonnell (Single-Handed) plays Michael and Aaron Staton (Mad Men) plays Dreyfuss.

Meanwhile, the Coynes' children Emma (Eileen O'Higgins), Francis and Kate have no idea of the strains their parents' marriage is experiencing.

Also in the cast are Des McAleer (Hunger), Seamus O'Hara (6 Degrees) and Ryan McParland (The Survivalist) as the neighbouring Hanlon family.

Their frustration at being displaced from their family home by the airfield is well vented.

Kerr Logan (Game Of Thrones) plays Failey, local fisherman and boyfriend to Sally Quinn (Fiona O'Shaugnessy) who along with her brother Barney (Gavin Drea) works on the Coyne farm.

Mr Devlin spoke of his excitement about the casting.

"I wrote the series around Hattie Morahan because she somehow manages to combine a magical serenity with a capacity to be daft as a brush," the writer explained.

"And Rose, our heroine, combines those two qualities in spades.

"Watching Hattie work that magic on-screen is a true pleasure.

"Owen McDonnell, Eileen O'Higgins, Aaron Staton lead a cast who excite me more every time I see them."

My Mother And Other Strangers is the first drama commission to be announced since the publication of the BBC and NI Screen Partnership Agreement in March 2015.

The purpose of the agreement is for the BBC and NI Screen to work together to develop an internationally competitive screen industry in the province.

Belfast Telegraph