The Bafta-winning actress Vicky McClure, star of the film and drama series This is England, is set to produce a comedy series based in her home city of Nottingham.
McClure is hoping that the series will be aired by the new local television franchise Notts TV, which launched this week. The actress, who also appeared in the hit ITV crime drama Broadchurch, is a big supporter of the new channel and appears on camera in its promotional material.
“I’m in talks with them about a comedy show, producing that. It’s a series and Nottingham-based,” McClure told The Independent of the project. she said. “Nothing is set in stone but I’d be really interested in getting involved in something like that and helping to produce it.”
She said that acting remained her priority. “It will be nice to dip my toe in and have a go at producing but I know how hard people work in directing, producing and writing.”
McClure, 31, who still lives in Nottingham, said: “We have some amazing history in Nottingham, its football clubs, Robin Hood, Jake Bugg, Shane Meadows…we have got some amazing things that come out of the city but we just don’t tend to be the sort of city that goes ‘Look at us’ and shout about it.”
She said she was excited by the potential of Notts TV and described the station’s early content as “really high quality stuff” but warned viewers not to expect the same production values as the BBC. She said: “They want to make it really cool, they want to make it really interesting and current but they are also aware that they have lots of different people they have got to try and please.”
Shane Meadows, 41, the award-winning Nottingham-based film director, is also backing the network and has given it a three-hour exclusive interview in which he answered questions about his career from a studio audience. Many of Meadows films, including Dead Man’s Shoes and Once Upon a Time in The Midlands, have been set in central England.
Notts TV, which broadcasts from the Antenna Medias Centre in the city’s “creative quarter”, is the latest of 25 local television channels licensed by Ofcom and being launched across Britain in a process which began last November when Estuary TV went on air in Grimsby. Other channels which are already broadcasting include Mustard TV in Norwich and London Live, which is made by broadcaster ESTV, owned by Evgeny Lebedev, publisher of the London Evening Standard, The Independent and the i.
Notts TV has been promoting itself with a “Blue Ducks” campaign, a reference to a famous Nottingham greeting. “Obviously we all say “Ay-up me duck” here,” said McClure. “They have hidden 1,000 blue ducks around the city and people have been taking them on holiday and having pictures of the ducks in places around the world. It’s been a big campaign on Twitter and has got everyone excited.”
Nottingham was previously home to ITV’s Central Studios and has produced a succession of stars at the city’s Television Workshop acting talent school, including Samantha Morton, Toby Kebbell and McClure.
“[Notts TV] is going to be great for people in Nottingham if they’re actors, filmmakers, presenters, journalists, whatever it is within the media they have a platform now to give it a go.”