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BBC One to air drama tonight postponed by Manchester attack

Hard-hitting Broken stars Anna Friel and Sean Bean

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Last Tuesday, BBC One was due to air a hard-hitting new drama starring Sean Bean and Anna Friel.

But, following the dreadful events in Manchester on Monday night, which saw 22 people lose their lives in a terror attack, the channel took the decision to postpone its broadcast.

At the time, the BBC said of its decision to shelve the planned airing: “Following last night’s tragic events in Manchester, BBC1’s new drama series Broken will not start tonight as planned but has been rescheduled for next Tuesday 30 May.”

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The drama is set in a non-specified northern city.

Its first episode will screen tonight at 9pm.

The six-part Jimmy McGovern-penned series follows Father Michael Kerrigan, a Catholic priest presiding over a Northern urban parish, played by Sean Bean.

Sean Bean plays a priest with a dark past (Credit: ITV)

Described by the BBC publicity blurb as “modern, maverick and reassuringly flawed”, Father Michael is “a man who must be confidant, counsellor and confessor to a struggling community”.

Anna Friel plays Christina Fitzsimmons, a local mother-of-three at the heart of the Catholic community who’s struggling for cash.

Celebrated scribe McGovern is the writing talent behind gritty treasures such as The Street, Hillsborough and Cracker.

He cut his TV teeth on Brookside, but narrowly missed crossing paths with Ms Friel back in the late 80s when her soap star was on the ascendance.

Anna Friel takes centre stage in the new drama (Credit: BBC)

“That is one of my great regrets,” the Liverpudlian says. “I left Brookside just as she came on board in the 1980s, but you could see she was something special, even then.

“I think Anna is great and she’s beautiful.”

They did get to join creative forces on his 2010 hit The Street, however, in which the Marcella star played a downtrodden young woman who worked as a prostitute on the side to earn some much-needed cash.

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While scant information has been released ahead of the first episode, we can pretty much guarantee it will be a no-holds barred look at life in modern Britain for people who have never seen or touched a silver spoon, much less been born with one in their mouths…

Indeed, what little we do know about tonight’s opener is Anna’s character is forced to do something so extreme, it’s quite unthinkable that it could be based on a real-life incident – but McGovern has stated that it is.

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