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ITV commissions new series of Innocent starring Katherine Kelly

ITV commissions new series of Innocent starring Katherine Kelly

ITV commissions new series of Innocent written by acclaimed screenwriter, Chris Lang, produced by TXTV and starring Katherine Kelly

Following the critical acclaim and ratings success of the first series of Innocent, ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill, has commissioned a new story with the Innocent label from writers and co-creators Chris Lang and Matt Arlidge who share executive producer duties with Jeremy Gwilt.

Katherine Kelly (Liar II, Cheat, Mr Selfridge) will take the leading role of Sally Wright who is fighting, against all odds, to prove her innocence. 

Katherine commented: 

"I’m thrilled to be working on this complex and thought provoking drama by Matt Arlidge and Chris Lang. I look forward to bringing the mix of Sally’s fragility and quiet strength to life.”

Produced by TXTV (Innocent, Undeniable, The Little House, Torn), Innocent II focuses upon the scandal that rocked the small Cumbrian town of Keswick in 2015 involving schoolteacher, Sally Wright, who was alleged to be having an affair with her 16-year-old pupil, Matty Taylor. 

Katherine will be joined by Jamie Bamber (Marcella, Strike Back, NCIS, Law & Order UK) playing Sally’s husband Sam, as well as Priyanga Burford (Press, Avenue 5, W1A, Fearless), Shaun Dooley (The Stranger, Gentleman Jack, Jamestown), Amy-Leigh Hickman (Our Girl, Ackley Bridge, Safe), Lucy Black (Gentleman Jack, The Durrells) Michael Yare (Knightfall, Game of Thrones) Andrew Tiernan (Marcella, Safe House, Code of a Killer), Nadia Albina (Years and Years, Marcella) , Poppy Miller (Line of Duty, Mapp & Lucia) , Janine Wood (Silent Witness, Doctors), Laura Rollins (Doctors) and Michael Stevenson (Casualty, Holby City).

When Matty is found dead, brutally stabbed with a broken cider bottle, suspicion falls upon Sally who had admitted to taking special interest in the boy.  In spite of having no criminal record, no history of violence and vehemently protesting her innocence and the fact she couldn’t be placed at the remote beauty spot on the day Matty was found murdered, Sally was convicted by a majority verdict and sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in jail.  

The new four-part series (4 x 60’) opens with Sally in the dock of Carlisle Crown Court, steely and determined to prove her innocence and that she’s been the victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice.  As she waits for the jury to deliver on her appeal, Sally contemplates how she’s lost everything she holds dear. Her relationship, home and marriage to Probation Officer, Sam, her job as Head of English at a local comprehensive, her status and good name in the community, and personal contact with her aging mother who now lives in a care home.

With the unwavering support of her best friend, Jenny, Editor of the local Cumbrian Post newspaper, Sally has been given a lifeline, as new evidence, which places her six miles from the murder scene, is unearthed.  

When the forewoman pronounces Sally is ‘not guilty’ of the crime which has destroyed her life her first thoughts are for Matty and his parents, John and Maria Taylor, who are still living their nightmare.

Hell-bent on reclaiming some of her life, Sally sets out to help the police seek answers and find the real killer.  DCI Michael Braithwaite returning to work after a period of absence is charged with re-investigating the case and is determined to discover the true identity of Matty’s killer.

The series has started filming on location in the Lake District and Ireland.  Jeremy Gwilt (Innocent, Maigret, Undeniable, Foyle’s War) is producing and executive producing the series with Chris Lang (Unforgotten, Innocent, Dark Heart, A Mother’s Son) and Matt Arlidge (Innocent, Silent Witness, Meadowlands) co-executive producing and writing the episodes. The series is being directed by Tracey Larcombe (Silent Witness, The Dumping Ground, Casualty, Hollyoaks).

ITV Drama Commissioner, Huw Kennair Jones will oversee Innocent from the channel’s perspective.

Commented Huw Kennair Jones: 

“Innocent II is a thriller which keeps you guessing to the very end.  Chris and Matt's brilliant scripts are compelling and the characters incredibly relatable.  We’re thrilled to be working again with TXTV and Chris Lang on a second instalment of Innocent.”

The first series of Innocent was one of ITV’s highest rated dramas of 2018 with an average of over 7 million viewers for each of the four episodes, based on seven-day consolidated data. 

Innocent II is produced in association with All3media International who will oversee  the international distribution of the series.

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Note to editors:

TXTV for Innocent are adhering to the TV and film production industry wide guidelines published in May and the guidance developed by all Irish and UK broadcasters, all the Association of Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Service (COBA), Screen Producers Ireland and Pact covering how pairs and small groups of actors can interact closer than two metres safely on set.  This guidance is also complementary to the British Film Commission guidelines on managing the risks with film and high-end TV drama production.

The new health and safety measures implemented to ensure filming on high-end dramas can resume include regular coronavirus testing of cast and crew and temperature checking before filming. Social distancing will be adhered to by crew members, and the actors and production teams will observe closed cohort guidelines which limits contact with other individuals whilst filming. COVID Supervisors will also be employed on set to ensure health and safety protocols are adhered to.
 
Camera and sound equipment will be fully sanitised at the end of each filming day and make-up will be applied by technicians wearing full PPE. Hand sanitisation facilities have also been installed for frequent hand washing and crews will wear masks throughout filming.

About TXTV

Founded in 2007 by Jeremy Gwilt, Chris Lang and Matt Arlidge, TXTV is a boutique indie, producing intelligent, mainstream drama for the UK and US markets. With strong relationships with all major distributors, they are truly independent and free to pursue whatever projects interest them, large or small.