by David Hare and Steven Knight | Radio Times | April 27, 2021
David Hare Section:
One Saturday night in 1995 I sat down to watch a Screen Two film on BBC2. Streetlife, written and directed by Karl Francis, was about a single mother in a caravan in Wales, struggling to provide for her young child.
Although the material was bleak – Jo kills her child because she despairs of her future – it was played with the most extraordinary humour and vitality by a young actor I’d never seen before. She wore a tiny mini skirt, sparked with brave life, and gave one of the most moving performances I’d ever seen on TV.
Viewers have praised Helen McCrory’s performance as a defense barrister in ITV drama Quiz, with one joking the actress “could tell me the Earth is flat and I would be convinced”. Quiz tells the story of the infamous Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? cheating scandal, in which an Army major and his wife were accused of using an elaborate coughing trick to win the cash prize. Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen played Charles Ingram, while Fleabag’s Sian Clifford starred as his wife, Diana. Michael Sheen transformed into host Chris Tarrant. The third and final part aired on Wednesday, with viewers watching the couple stand trial charged with deception while McCrory played their defense barrister, Sonia Woodley QC.
While the Ingrams were eventually convicted, serious doubts persists over their guilt and Quiz viewers said McCrory’s performance had convinced them a miscarriage of justice had taken place following the 2003 trial.
We’re delighted to see Helen McCrory back on our screens again.
Last seen as Polly Gray, domineering matriarch of the Shelby family in BBC drama Peaky Blinders, , Helen McCrory claims her ongoing success is down to her ‘searing lack of ambition’.
Now Helen, 51, is to star as Major Charles Ingram’s defence lawyer, Sonia Woodley QC, in ITV’s Quiz – a three-part drama about the infamous Who Wants to be a Millionaire? coughing cheating scandal.
While many of us in 2001 were gripped by the real-life drama surrounding the major and his wife Diana, who allegedly cheated their way to winning £1 million on Chris Tarrant’s TV show, Helen confesses she ‘didn’t really have many memories of the drama at all’.