Rivington and Blackrod School old boy will be playing a leading role in a new thriller.
Better stars Andrew Buchan of Broadchurch fame.
The five-part series is said to appeal to fans off Channel 4 series Humans and BBC’s Spooks
It’s the brainchild of writers Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, who penned episodes of both the aforementioned programmes.
And it is the latest project from production company SISTER, which was behind the hugely acclaimed Chernobyl.
Leila Farzad heads the cast as DI Lou Slack, a well-respected officer harbouring a dark secret – her success has been built on a foundation of deceit and corruption.
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Almost 20 years ago, she struck a deal with fledgling underworld figure Col McHugh played by Andrew – he’d scratch her back, if she scratched his. But, following a tragedy, it seems the worm could be about to turn…
Better is billed as the the story of one woman’s epic battle towards redemption, to reclaim the honour and honesty she handed over to a man many years ago.
Andrew, who grew up Lostock, plays an Irish character charming, charismatic, who is is a successful businessman and property developer.
But to those closest to him he’s the highly disciplined and coldly ruthless head of a powerful citywide drug trafficking gang.
Better is describe as a fast-paced and utterly compelling thriller, shot through with wit and humour, that explores the complex and powerful bonds of loyalty and family, set in a world where everyone has their own version of “right” and “wrong”. Examining the power of human conscience and the need for redemption, Better examines the ties that bind, the ties that define, and the ties that break.
Nawfal Faizullah from BBC Drama said: “Jonathan and Sam have created an iconic character in Lou Slack, and we are delighted that Leila Farzad is bringing her to life, alongside her brilliant partner in crime, Andrew Buchan. We’re excited to be working with SISTER again and we can’t wait for audiences to be hooked by this thrilling story of redemption.”
Also joining the cast are Samuel Edward-Cook (Peaky Blinders) as Ceri, Lou’s husband who loves her very much but is deeply conflicted about her arrangement with Col.
Ceallach Spellman (Cold Feet) plays Donal, Col’s son, a broken young man who fails to; live up to his father’s expectations, and Carolin Stoltz (Liar) plays Alma, Col’s wife and a crucial part of his inner circle.
Leila Farzad says: “Better is a brilliant fresh take on the morality tale. I am excited to have the opportunity to play Lou Slack, the vehicle through which we explore the multivalent layers of good and bad. A complex, flawed yet utterly human character. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful show with an incredibly talented team attached to it.”
Writers and Executive Producers Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent say: “This incredible cast are exciting us every day, pushing the show’s exploration of morality and redemption to ever more thrilling, surprising, and yet darkly funny places. With any luck, we’ve got enough brilliant people to make ourselves look good.”
A spokesman for SISTER added “We are thrilled to have teamed up with the brilliant duo of Sam and Jon again on this series. The propulsion of their story telling and their complex characters with depth and wit is what makes Better such an incredible piece. Not anyone could evoke the complexity of unconventional hero Lou Slack – morally complicated and challenging yet with huge heart. Luckily we don’t just have just anyone, we have the ferocious talent of Lelia Farzad. And bringing an entirely new perspective on the modern crime boss is the equally brilliant Andy Buchan as Col McHugh.
“We are delighted to have these two extraordinary actors anchoring this complex thriller with lead director Jonathan Brough at the helm, bringing the streets of Leeds to life in a new and exciting way.”
The series airs on BBC One on February 13 at 9pm and BBC iPlayer on the same day.