Air Date Set for Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads on BBC as First Look Images Released

Talking Heads Set Air Date
Talking Heads Set Air Date

Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads will air on BBC One from Tuesday 23 June with a double bill, it was announced today. All twelve Talking Heads will then be available to stream on BBC iPlayer, with the series continuing on BBC One across the following weeks.

To celebrate the news, twelve pictures of the cast in character have been released.

Talking Heads is produced by London Theatre Company and BBC One and transmission dates for the remaining Talking Heads will be announced in due course.

As the British public service broadcaster, the BBC has a key role to play in continuing to offer new programming for our audience at this time of national crisis. The contained nature of Bennett’s monologues allowed the opportunity to tell timely and relevant stories while following the latest government guidelines on safe working practices during Covid-19.

Alan Bennett says: “In such difficult circumstances, that the BBC should choose to remount both series of Talking Heads, and produce two entirely new ones, is a comfort and a huge compliment. I hope a new generation of actors will get and give as much pleasure as we did twenty and thirty years ago.

Nicholas Hytner, Bennett’s long-term collaborator and Lead Director and Producer, says: “Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads are among the masterworks of one of the very greatest writers in TV, film and theatre history. It has been a profound and fascinating experience to work out a way of making them again, this time with a company of phenomenal actors who are the equal of those who first made them; with a group of leading theatre directors, colleagues and friends of long standing; and with a team behind the camera that represents the best of the British TV and film industries. It is a wonderful bonus that two of the 2020 Talking Heads are totally new, written only a short time before the current crisis began. And everyone involved has been working in an unprecedented way, rigorously observing social distancing, entirely rethinking ways of filmmaking that until a few weeks ago seemed routine. The shoot will never bring any of us within touching distance of each other, but I hope that in every other way it will reach out and touch millions of viewers. We are all of us beyond grateful to the BBC for setting us this challenge.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Covid-19 has laid waste to drama production in the UK, but it has also posed a challenge: how do we adhere to restrictions while still offering British viewers the chance to lose themselves in great stories at this time of national need? Full of insight, wit, daring and compassion, these are stories of individual lives – but of great resonance. I am so grateful to Alan, Nicholas Hytner, Kevin Loader and the whole team for the caution, ingenuity and wisdom which they have shown in bringing these stories to the screen.”

The Talking Heads monologues were first broadcast on the BBC in 1988 and 1998, breaking new ground for television and widely celebrated as Alan Bennett’s masterpieces. They had a stellar cast including Patricia Routledge, Maggie Smith, Stephanie Cole, Julie Walters, Thora Hird, Eileen Atkins, David Haig and Penelope Wilton, alongside Bennett himself. The monologues won two BAFTAs, an RTS award and have also since been included on the A-level and GCSE English Literature syllabus.

At Theatre Weekly we are dedicated to giving theatre a new audience. Our News, Reviews and Interviews are all written with the audience in mind, helping you decide what to see next. And when you have decided, our great ticket deals will help save you money too.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here