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Jimmy McGovern

Jimmy McGovern

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Encyclopedia
Jimmy McGovern is a BAFTA award-winning English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 scriptwriter from Liverpool.

Early career


McGovern started his career working on Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

's soap opera Brookside
Brookside
Brookside is a defunct British soap opera set in Liverpool, England. The series began on the launch night of Channel 4 on 2 November 1982, and ran for 21 years until 4 November 2003...

in 1982, tackling many social issues such as unemployment.

Successes


In 1993, he created the drama serial Cracker
Cracker (UK TV series)
Cracker is a British crime drama series produced by Granada Television for ITV and created and principally written by Jimmy McGovern. The series is centered on a criminal psychologist , Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald, played by Robbie Coltrane. Set in Manchester, it consists of three series which were...

about the work of a criminal psychologist played by Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane, OBE is a Scottish actor, comedian and author. He is known both for his role as Dr...

. Made by Granada Television
Granada Television
Granada Television is the ITV contractor for North West England. Based in Manchester since its inception, it is the only surviving original ITA franchisee from 1954 and is ITV's most successful....

 and screened on ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

, the series was a critical and popular success. Cracker also aired in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, on the Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment may refer to:* A&E Network, an American cable and satellite television network* A&E Television Networks, the cable network's parent company* Arts and Entertainment, a hip hop album by American rappers Masta Ace and Edo G....

 cable network. McGovern's writing earned him two Edgar Award
Edgar Award
The Edgar Allan Poe Awards , named after Edgar Allan Poe, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America...

s from the Mystery Writers of America
Mystery Writers of America
Mystery Writers of America is an organization for mystery writers, based in New York.The organization was founded in 1945 by Clayton Rawson, Anthony Boucher, Lawrence Treat, and Brett Halliday....

. In 1997 he created The Lakes
The Lakes (TV series)
The Lakes is the title of a television drama series in the United Kingdom, made by the BBC and created and principally written by Jimmy McGovern. The Lakes brought writer Jimmy McGovern and actor John Simm a great deal of critical praise in 1997...

, a drama that shared Brookside's realist setting and reused themes from Cracker such as gambling addiction. In 2006 he created the BBC One
BBC One
BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

 drama The Street
The Street (TV series)
The Street is a British television drama series created by Jimmy McGovern and produced by Granada Television for the BBC. The series follows the lives of various residents of an unnamed street in Manchester and features an all-star cast including Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent, Jane Horrocks, Bob...

, its third and final season aired in 2009.

Opinions


McGovern has described cinema scriptwriters as being treated like hacks and forced to crank out countless drafts by successive producers. McGovern has openly criticised dramas like Footballer's Wives, lamenting the lack of quality, believable storytelling in the early 2000s. He also believes that television directors are underrated. He says: “I have worked twice with David Blair [on The Lakes and The Street], and I can tell you that he is the best there is. He can make a good project great... Why David hasn’t won the acclaim he deserves is a mystery to me.”

Musical


McGovern has also completed a musical stage show called King Cotton
King Cotton (play)
King Cotton was a specially commissioned musical written by Jimmy McGovern and directed by Jude Kelly, with original music by Howard Goodall, based on an idea by Ian Brownbill and designed by Ti Green....

, exploring links between the transatlantic slave trade and industrialisation in North West England, as part of the Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 2008. King Cotton premiered at The Lowry
The Lowry
The Lowry is a theatre and gallery complex situated on Pier 8 at Salford Quays, in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. It is named after the early-20th century painter, L. S. Lowry, known for his paintings of industrial scenes in North West England...

 in September 2007 before moving to the Liverpool Empire.

Producer


In 2009, McGovern was the executive producer on BBC One miniseries Moving On
Moving On (TV series)
Moving On is a British television series consisting of standalone contemporary dramas first shown on daytime BBC One. Although originally broadcast in an early-afternoon slot, less than a month after the initial airing the first series was repeated to an evening audience...

.

Current


His new series, Accused
Accused (TV series)
Accused is a British television anthology series. Written and created by Jimmy McGovern, it stars Christopher Eccleston, Benjamin Smith, Juliet Stevenson, Andy Serkis, Marc Warren and Naomie Harris as the accused in each episode. Filming for the series took place around Manchester between May and...

started filming in May 2010. It follows a similar format to The Street
The Street
The Street may refer to:*The Street , a drama shown on BBC One in 2006, 2007 and 2009*"The Street" , by H. P. Lovecraft*The Street , a 1946 novel by Ann Petry...

but with a crime component. Scripts are written by McGovern, Danny Brocklehurst
Danny Brocklehurst
Danny Brocklehurst is a BAFTA and International Emmy -winning English screenwriter. Brocklehurst worked as a journalist for several years before becoming a full-time screenwriter.He has written acclaimed television drama...

, Alice Nutter and two new writers. It is produced by Sita Williams.

Filmography


As writer
Programme Date Channel Notes
Brookside
Brookside
Brookside is a defunct British soap opera set in Liverpool, England. The series began on the launch night of Channel 4 on 2 November 1982, and ran for 21 years until 4 November 2003...

1982 Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

Cracker
Cracker (UK TV series)
Cracker is a British crime drama series produced by Granada Television for ITV and created and principally written by Jimmy McGovern. The series is centered on a criminal psychologist , Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald, played by Robbie Coltrane. Set in Manchester, it consists of three series which were...

1993-2006 ITV1
Hearts and Minds 1995 Channel 4
The Lakes
The Lakes (TV series)
The Lakes is the title of a television drama series in the United Kingdom, made by the BBC and created and principally written by Jimmy McGovern. The Lakes brought writer Jimmy McGovern and actor John Simm a great deal of critical praise in 1997...

1997-1999 BBC One
BBC One
BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

Hillsborough 1996 ITV1
ITV1
ITV1 is a generic brand that is used by twelve franchises of the British ITV Network in the English regions, Wales, southern Scotland , the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. The ITV1 brand was introduced by Carlton and Granada in 2001, alongside the regional identities of their...

Dramatised reconstruction of the events of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster
Hillsborough disaster
The Hillsborough disaster was a human crush that occurred on 15 April 1989 at Hillsborough, a football stadium, the home of Sheffield Wednesday F.C. in Sheffield, England, resulting in the deaths of 96 people, and 766 being injured, all fans of Liverpool F.C....

Dockers
Dockers (TV programme)
Dockers is a British feature-length television drama produced for Channel 4 about the struggles of a small group of Liverpool dockers who were sacked and subsequently spent 2 years picketing during the Liverpool Dockers' Strike of 1995 to 1998....

1999 Channel 4 Dramatisation of the 1995-98 Liverpool Dockers' Strike
Liverpool Dockers' Strike
The Liverpool Dockers' Strike lasted from 1995 to 1998.Although referred to as a strike it was strictly a dispute because the employers, the MDHC had actually used the opportunity to sack the dockers who were caught up in a separate dispute.The Liverpool dockers refused to cross a picket line set...

Sunday 2002 Channel 4 Based on the events of Bloody Sunday
Gunpowder, Treason & Plot
Gunpowder, Treason & Plot
Gunpowder, Treason & Plot was a 2004 BBC miniseries loosely based upon the lives of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her son James I of England. The writer Jimmy McGovern tells the story behind the Gunpowder Plot in two parts, each centred on one of the monarchs....

2004 BBC One Dramatisation of the lives of Mary, Queen of Scots and James I of England
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

The Street 2006-2009 BBC One
Accused
Accused (TV series)
Accused is a British television anthology series. Written and created by Jimmy McGovern, it stars Christopher Eccleston, Benjamin Smith, Juliet Stevenson, Andy Serkis, Marc Warren and Naomie Harris as the accused in each episode. Filming for the series took place around Manchester between May and...

2010 BBC One

External links