“Help” is the most timely and important televised event of the year


Sarah (Jodie Comer) & Tony (Stephen Graham) Written by Jack Thorne – Help (Channel 4)

The phrase ‘must see TV’ could have been coined for the new Channel 4 drama To help.

Created by acclaimed writer Jack Thorne, starring and produced by two of the country’s brightest acting talents – Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer – To help is the story of how COVID-19 ravaged nursing homes during the height of the pandemic.

Thorne, best known for hits like The Accident, The Virtues, National Treasure and Its dark materials, developed the new show with its main actors who teamed up after wanting to work together for years. The result is one of the most timely, emotional and important television events of the year.

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Kill Eve and free guy the Comer star plays a young woman who starts working at a care home in Liverpool before the coronavirus took hold across the country. Course of action and Northern water‘s Graham is a patient with dementia precocious in her care.

Jodie said it was a real passion project for them all: At first, it felt like we were in a workshop. We did a bit of improvisation at the start and Jack was happy with that.

Tony (Stephen Graham) and Sarah (Jodie Comber) - Aide (Channel 4)

Tony (Stephen Graham) and Sarah (Jodie Comer) – Aide (Channel 4)

“When Jack sent us the first draft, I texted Stephen and told him it was so powerful, even at this early stage. It was so fleshed out and brilliant.

“It’s an exploration of how people on the frontlines had to adjust and adjust to the gravity of the situation around them at the onset of the pandemic and what was left for them to deal with.

“Inside of that are these wonderful relationships between residents and social workers, one of the residents being Stephen’s character, Tony. It sounds like a very human story, and I think a lot of people can relate to it right now.

Graham (Mike Noble) and Steve (Ian Hart) - Aide (Channel 4)

Graham (Mike Noble) and Steve (Ian Hart) – Aide (Channel 4)

“I hope this film will tell to some extent the unseen and untold stories of caregivers in our country and the horrific situation they found themselves in.”

Originally, the drama was to center on the relationship between a brother and sister who are affected when diagnosed with dementia.

But as the covid situation developed over the past year, especially when it began to burn down care homes with a devastating death toll, Thorne and his key players changed course to include this burning issue. .

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Graham also found himself with more time to prepare after being forced to move to a hotel to self-isolate.

Sarah (Jodie Comber) - Help (Channel 4)

Sarah (Jodie Comer) – Aide (Channel 4)

He revealed: “I had to isolate myself in a hotel room for 10 days on my own because my wife and child had COVID. It spun because I spent a lot of time talking to people who had dementia early on and getting a wide and varied opinion of what it was for them.

“I really started to understand what their frustrations were and what it was like for them to suffer from this disease. It took so much to me, and I was grateful to everyone for being able to provide me with this platform. I was even invited to their regular group meetings on Zoom.

Actor Stephen Graham arrives for the screening of

Stephen Graham arrives for the screening of “The Irishman” at the BFI London Film Festival 2019 (REUTERS / Henry Nicholls)

Graham felt a strong personal connection to the material.

He explained, “My father works in a special education unit, so for me our dramatization of the Jack Thorne story was extremely deep and personal. Although it is extremely relevant and poignant to everyone, I can feel it personally.

To help will air at 9 p.m. Thursday, September 16 on Channel 4.

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