First-look at BBC's revisionist drama Anthony: 'A blend of fiction and reality'

BBC One’s Anthony will be a revisionist take on the real-life tragedy of Anthony Walker, exploring what might have happened if the promising student had not been killed.

In 2005, Anthony was murdered in a racist attack in Huyton, Merseyside.

Half-way through his college studies, the student was a keen basketball player and had ambitions to travel America and study Law at University.

Now, scribe Jimmy McGovern will give viewers a glimpse into the life Anthony could have lived if his life hadn’t been cruelly taken away.

The new drama will star Toheeb Jimoh as Anthony, and Noughts and Crosses star Rakie Ayola has his mother Gee.

McGovern crafted the drama following conversations with Gee about her son, and the life he wanted to live.

Gee Walker says of the new drama: ‘I went to Jimmy [McGovern] because I couldn’t think of anyone more suited who could depict, highlight and draw attention to the hard messages of a life not lived – Anthony’s unfilled dreams, his potentials and the many lives he would have impacted on – which now will never be realised.’

Writer McGovern adds: ‘I’d known Gee Walker for many years and every time I had needed to write about loss or grief I had gone to her and she had always been generous with her time and her profound wisdom.

‘But one day she came to me and asked me to write about her beloved Anthony. I said, “Gee, if you’re asking such a thing, I feel I have a God-given duty to do it.” And so I did it.’

Controller of BBC Drama, Piers Wenger, said that Anthony will be ‘a unique blend of fiction and reality, steered by Jimmy McGovern’s conversations with Anthony’s mother Gee Walker.

‘It is the story of a young man who tragically lost his life but also of a life he might have led. We are honoured to be telling it on BBC One.’

Anthony comes to BBC One at an as-yet-unconfirmed date.

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