BBC ‘set to renew JK Rowling’s Strike adaptation’ after apologising to author over trans comments

Season six will adapt ‘The Ink Black Heart’, which features a storyline about trans backlash

Tom Murray
Tuesday 07 March 2023 21:51 GMT
JK Rowling podcast claims Harry Potter has helped save LGBT+ books

The BBC is reportedly preparing to renew its crime drama Strike, which is based on the Cormoran Strike books by JK Rowling.

The news comes weeks after the broadcaster apologised to the Harry Potter author after its news hosts failed to challenge a guest who called the author transphobic.

A sixth season of Strike has yet to be confirmed. However, Deadline’s Jake Kanter reports that the deal is close to being made.

The Independent has contacted the BBC for confirmation.

Season six will adapt The Ink Black Heart, the sixth novel in Rowling’s detective series, which she wrote under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith.

The adaptation sees Tom Burke take on the role of gruff private investigator Cormoran Strike alongside Holliday Grainger as his partner Robin Ellacott.

Earlier this month, the BBC received 200 complaints after host Evan Davis allowed a guest on Radio 4’s PM show to claim Rowling was transphobic without offering “sufficient” challenge.

JK Rowling and Tom Burke in ‘Strike’

The author has faced a sustained backlash in recent years for statements she’s made about trans issues, which many critics and prominent voices in the LGBT+ community have described as transphobic. Rowling has repeatedly denied that she is transphobic.

The BBC, which “must remain duly impartial” per its own guidelines, later apologised for the exchange, after listeners said it presented an “unfair characterisation” of Rowling’s views.

A week later, the BBC apologised again after a transgender woman appearing on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland show said “many people believe very strongly” that the new PlayStation game Hogwarts Legacy was funding “the anti-trans movement”.

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The Harry Potter author did not have any involvement in the concept or writing of the game, but will receive royalties from its sales.

In The Ink Black Heart, cartoonist Edie Ledwell is found dead after her work was criticised for being, among other things, transphobic.

The author claims the novel “genuinely wasn’t” a response to the backlash she’s received for her own comments about trans people.

In The Independent’s review of Strike’s fifth season, Troubled Blood, Sean O’Grady argued that the drama was “the BBC at its best”.

He wrote: “Strike: Troubled Blood really is an extraordinarily fine crime drama, where a range of exceptional talents come together to create something that is actually greater than the sum of its very formidable parts.”

This article was amended on March 8 2023. It originally said that the BBC had apologised after someone said on a BBC Radio Scotland show that Hogwarts Legacy was funding the anti-trans movement, but she actually said that this was something that many people believed to be the case, and did not state it as fact.

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