Floodlights: BBC Two announce new feature-length drama


BBC Two has announced new feature-length factual drama Floodlights.

It tells the impactful and important story of Andy Woodward, the former professional footballer whose brave revelations about the sexual abuse he suffered as a youth player sent shockwaves throughout the industry and across the globe

Gerard Kearns (The Last Kingdom, Shameless) portrays Andy Woodward, with Jonas Armstrong (Hollington Drive, The Bay), Morven Christie (Lockwood & Co, The A Word), and Steve Edge (Benidorm, The Madame Blanc Mysteries) also starring.

The BBC share: “In November 2016, Andy found the strength to go public about horrific sexual abuse by his youth coach, Barry Bennell.

“After doing so, hundreds more men, many also victims of Bennell, found the courage to speak up about their harrowing experiences of abuse, lifting the lid on a national scandal in the country’s most popular sport.

“The factual drama depicts Andy’s life, from a boy with a passion for the game to a successful professional footballer who seemingly has the world at his feet, until, no longer able to ignore the haunting memories of the abuse he was subject to by his youth coach, his career is cut short.

“It examines the power and control held by Bennell, grooming young players and their families with the promise of making their dreams come true.”

Floodlights will air on Tuesday, 17 May 2022 at 9PM on BBC Two and iPlayer.

Floodlights is written by the award-winning screenwriter, Matt Greenhalgh (Control, Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool) and directed by BAFTA-nominated Nick Rowland (Calm With Horses, Hard Sun).

Floodlights is made with the full cooperation of Andy Woodward who said: “Since speaking out in 2016 I’ve wanted to continue to encourage people to talk without fear, to make a change.

“Floodlights tells my story, which no child should ever have to go through. I hope this film helps to stop abuse in football and in all areas of life.”

Gerard Kearns added: “I am honoured to be playing Andrew Woodward and hope that we have done his story justice.”

Writer Matt Greenhalgh commented: “I was in the crowd at Maine Road when Bury FC beat my team, Manchester City, 0-1 in 1998. Andy Woodward was playing for Bury.. and was outstanding. When his brutal story broke I remember being stunned not only by the magnanimity of his courage, but by how this could happen in our national sport.

“His horrific revelations were undoubtedly a pivotal moment for football… but also for many, many men. Andy’s story more than deserves telling as drama, so that it can keep on telling, and informing the next generation of parents and kids.

“And I am very proud to be part of his honourable fight to expose those who prey on children in any walk of life.”

Produced by Expectation in association with Only The Best, Floodlights will air on BBC Two and iPlayer on 17 May.

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