STAYING IN: INSIDE THE TUBE

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The Independent Culture
Once questioned for its supposed telescoping of events - remember the storms that broke around Shoot to Kill and In the Name of the Father? - the docudrama appears to be making a comeback. Recent reports have revealed that the award-winning writer Jimmy McGovern (Cracker, Hillsborough) is working in tandem with Liverpool dockers on the story of their strike action. Meanwhile, on Sunday 11 October, ITV are broadcasting A Life for a Life (above), an account of one of many recent shocking miscarriages of justice. This two-hour film sets out, as its subtitle informs us, to tell The True Story of Stefan Kisko. In 1976, 23-year-old Kisko (played by debutant Tony Maudsley) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 11-year-old Lesley Molseed - even though forensic evidence existed which could have seen him acquitted. Convinced of his innocence, his mother embarked on a courageous, 16-year battle to clear his name. The role of his mother provides a meaty part for Olympia Dukakis - and is quite a change of tone from her best-known, Oscar-winning performance opposite Cher in the light-hearted Italian-American romantic comedy, Moonstruck.

More tough drama is promised in Storm Damage. Currently in production, this one-off film for BBC2 centres on the attempts by Danny, a young teacher, to help Stefan (Ashley Walters), a difficult pupil in whom he sees many similarities with himself. The BBC has pulled off quite a coup in securing Adrian Lester, fresh from starring opposite John Travolta and Emma Thompson in Primary Colors, for the role of Danny. Storm Damage is written by the actor Lennie James, who has a role in it and is also soon to be seen in Undercover Heart, (below) a new BBC1 serial with Daniela Nardini and Steven Mackintosh. "I wrote Storm Damage because I grew up in the middle of it, and no one was doing anything about what was happening," says James. "I thought the generation coming up behind me deserved better than to be ignored."

While other programmes are blown about by the winds of fashion, Come Dancing (below) blithely tangos on regardless. It is celebrating its 50th - yes, 50th - anniversary with a gala to be recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Wednesday 7 October. Presenter Rosemarie Ford will be foxtrotting along with past hosts, including Terry Wogan, Angela Rippon and David Jacobs. Tickets - available from the Royal Albert Hall box- office on 0171-589 8212 - include the invitation to trip the light fantastic on the dancefloor for an hour before the show begins at 8.45pm. Surely an offer too good to refuse ...

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