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ITV commissions gripping event drama, No Return, starring Sheridan Smith

ITV commissions gripping event drama, No Return, starring BAFTA award winning actress Sheridan Smith, written by Danny Brocklehurst and produced by RED Production Company

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill today confirmed commission of gripping, four part event drama, No Return, starring Sheridan Smith and written by RTS award winning screenwriter, Danny Brocklehurst.

The contemporary drama focuses upon an idyllic family holiday to Turkey which turns into a living nightmare for Kathy, played by Sheridan Smith, and her husband Martin when they are left desperately fighting for their 16 year old son’s freedom after he’s accused of a serious crime.

Commented Sheridan Smith:

“I’m such a big fan of Danny Brocklehurst and Red Production, they make incredible dramas. I was thrilled to be asked to play Kathy in this exciting production and to be at ITV again. Can’t wait to start filming on this thrilling, complex story about family finding their way through a terrifying situation.”

No Return will be produced by Manchester based executive producer, Nicola Shindler and Richard Fee (The Stranger, Safe). Hannah Quinn (The Stranger, Safe) will direct the series.

Looking forward to an all-inclusive luxury break to enjoy the sun and sea with the family, Kathy and Martin, their son Noah and younger daughter Jess are blissfully unaware of the horrific ordeal about to unfold.

The holiday is a chance to unwind and for Kathy and Martin to spend some much-needed family time. Until unsuspecting Noah accepts a seemingly innocent invitation to a beach party from a fellow holidaymaker, Rosie, who is staying at the same hotel, and Kathy and Martin’s world spectacularly falls apart.

An arrest, an expensive and alien legal system, looming media coverage and resistance from fellow holidaymakers to come to their aid leaves the distraught parents fighting for Noah’s freedom when ironically he should be at school sitting his latest exams.

With themes of parental love, guilt, grievances, and the issues around consent for teenagers, No Return has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill.

Commented Polly Hill:

“This is a brilliant script about a family who are out of their depth, in a legal system they don’t understand, trying to save their son. Danny finds such emotional truth in the characters and their nightmare holiday, that it’s utterly compelling from start to finish. I’m delighted to be working with Danny and Nicola again, on what promises to be a very special drama for ITV.”

Nicola Shindler is an award winning executive producer and founder of RED Production Company, a STUDIOCANAL company, known for producing ground-breaking and critically acclaimed British dramas including Clocking Off, Linda Green, Last Tango in Halifax, Scott & Bailey, Happy Valley, Prey, Trust Me and Years and Years.

Nicola and her production team are currently filming contemporary six-part drama Finding Alice for ITV, written by Simon Nye and Roger Goldby, starring Keeley Hawes, Joanna Lumley, Nigel Havers, Gemma Jones, Kenneth Cranham and Isabella Pappas.

Commented Nicola Shindler:

“I am really pleased to be working on another powerful script from Danny Brocklehurst that combines an exciting, thrilling storyline with characters an audience will recognise in extremely challenging circumstances.”

Danny Brocklehurst is the critically acclaimed screenwriter known for Shameless, Clocking Off, Harlan Coben’s The Stranger and most recently Brassic.

Commented Danny Brocklehurst:

“No Return is truly a passion project for me. It's the story of a family caught in a modern nightmare but it allows us to explore themes of parenthood, justice, addiction and consent. I am delighted to be working with the amazing Sheridan Smith and once again partnering with ITV, and the brilliant Nicola Shindler and Hannah Quinn.”

No Return will begin filming in the summer of 2021.

The drama will be internationally distributed by STUDIOCANAL.


RED Production Company​

RED Production Company, a STUDIOCANAL Company was founded by Nicola Shindler in 1998 to work with the best writers on modern, innovative, and entertaining programming. The Manchester-based indie has since produced some of the UK’s most popular drama series working with critically acclaimed writers including Russell T Davies, Sally Wainwright, Danny Brocklehurst, Tony Marchant, Sarah Solemani and Dan Sefton. 

RED Production Company, a STUDIOCANAL Company has produced some of the UK’s most successful and award-winning dramas, including Russell T Davies’ Cucumber, Queer As Folk and Years and Years, Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax, Lenny Henry’s Danny and the Human Zoo, Dan Sefton’s Trust Me, Tony Marchant’s Butterfly, plus Traces, written by Amelia Bullmore, and Harlan Coben’s Safe, Come Home and most recently Harlan Coben’s The Stranger written by Danny Brocklehurst.  Forthcoming series include Finding Alice written by Roger Goldby and Simon Nye for ITV, Ridley Road for BBC and Masterpiece and It’s a Sin by Russell T Davies for Channel 4.  

RED Production Company is part of STUDIOCANAL’s international production network, which includes TANDEM Productions in Germany, STUDIOCANAL Original in France and BAMBÚ PRODUCCIONES in Spain.


STUDIOCANAL, a 100% affiliate of CANAL+ Group held by Vivendi, is Europe’s leader in production, distribution and international sales of feature films and TV series, operating directly in all three major European markets - France, the United Kingdom and Germany - as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

STUDIOCANAL is actively developing and distributing high-end TV series through its network of award-winning European production companies, including TANDEM in Germany (SHADOWPLAY), the UK’s RED Production Company (YEARS AND YEARS), Spain’s BAMBÚ PRODUCCIONES (ON DEATH ROW) and France’s STUDIOCANAL ORIGINAL (MOUCHE). STUDIOCANAL is also an associate of Danish-based SAM Productions founded by Søren Sveistrup and Adam Price (RIDE UPON THE STORM) as well as of UK-based GUILTY PARTY PICTURES; Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company SUNNYMARCH TV (PATRICK MELROSE) and URBAN MYTH FILMS (WAR OF THE WORLDS).