14 March 2022

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LONDON: Monday 14th March 2022: Channel 5 and Clapperboard, Chalkboard’s scripted sister company, have today announced the casting of key roles for their upcoming drama Desperate Measures (4 x 60). The series will be produced in association with international distributor Eccho Rights. Mike Benson and Julie Ryan will serve as executive producers for Clapperboard, whilst Adam Barth and Nicola Söderlund are on board as executive producers for Eccho Rights. Helen Ostler (The Last Kingdom) is producer, whilst Anthony Philipson (Our Girl) will be the director of the series. The series was ordered by Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer UK, at Paramount. 

The drama follows diligent bank clerk Rowan, who has raised her teenage son Finn on a lawless estate whilst paying off her absent father’s debts. Rowan’s life spirals when Finn is coerced into a botched drug deal by a local gang. With Finn’s life on the line and a violent gang leader encroaching on her life, Rowan is faced with recuperating the money that Finn lost. Desperate to save her son and having exhausted all options, Rowan commits to a dangerous heist at the bank she works in. 

Amanda Abbington (Wolfe, Mr Selfridge, I Hate Suzie, Sherlock) will play the lead role of Rowan, with newcomer Jesse Cescatti-McFarlane starring as Rowan’s son Finn who finds himself at the centre of a botched drug deal by a local gang. Warren Brown (The Responder, Trigger Point, Strike Back) stars as Rowan's ex-partner Patrick, a career criminal who she reconnects with in order to help Finn. Sunetra Sarker (Casualty, Ackley Bridge, Cold Feet) stars as Varisha, Rowan's loyal best-friend and co-worker. In addition, Francis Magee (White Lines, The Witcher, Brassic), Jonathan Nyati (Motherland, Breeders, This Way Up) and Seb Cardinal (After Life, This Time with Alan Partridge, Sally4Ever) also feature. 

Mike Benson, Managing Director, Clapperboard commented: “We're delighted Amanda has come on board. We know the warmth, relatability and nuance she will bring to Rowan - an ordinary woman forced to take extreme measures...She will have viewers rooting for her every step of the way. Amanda is joined by a very talented cast including the brilliant Warren Brown who seems to be in every hit show at the moment so we were thrilled he agreed to be part of the project.” 

Adam Barth, Head of Development, Acquisition and Co-production at Eccho Rights added: “From an international perspective, this casting is very exciting, with Amanda and Warren in particular being so familiar to worldwide audiences from their starring roles in globally renowned shows like Mr Selfridge and The Responder. News of their inclusion in the series will be a huge boost to the international profile of Desperate Measures.” 

Filming for Desperate Measures will commence shooting on location in 2022 and is set to transmit on Channel 5 later this year. The casting news follows Channel 5’s most recent successful, Clapperboard drama launches The Teacher and The Holiday.   


For further enquiries please contact:
Emily Holmes | emily.holmes@vimn.com 

Amanda Browne | amanda.browne@vimn.com   

About Channel 5: Channel 5 is a public service broadcaster and the UK’s third largest commercial TV station. Launched in March 1997, Channel 5 has been owned by Paramount since September 2014. Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select and My5 TV reach 3 in 4 of the UK viewing public each month with a diverse schedule including issue-led documentaries, popular factual, accessible history, stunning natural history, inclusive entertainment and reality, top level sport, high quality scripted programming and critically acclaimed children’s, news, and current affairs programming. Through its agenda-driving commissions, Channel 5 has led on societal issues from inequality to inner city gang life, homelessness to mental health, aiming to tell the story of modern Britain by reflecting the lives of people across the nation.  My5 is an on-demand service allowing viewers to watch content online for free from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select and 5Spike, as well as selected third-party channels. In 2018, Channel 5 won its first BAFTA for Cruising with Jane McDonald and was named ‘Channel of the Year’ at the Edinburgh TV Festival. In 2019, Chanel 5 won best documentary award for The Abused at the RTS Awards, Edinburgh TV Awards and the Association of International Broadcasters Awards. In 2020, Channel 5 was crowned Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Awards and Channel of the Year at the RTS awards.

About Clapperboard: Clapperboard Studios was set up in 2020 as the partner company of Chalkboard – Producers of 2019’s Cold Call - and Storyboard Studios. Since its inception Clapperboard have gone on to produce a diverse range of dramas including the critically acclaimed The Teacher, the ratings winning Intruder and co-produce the hit comedy drama The Madame Blanc Mysteries. The company is headed up by Exec Producer and MD Mike Benson. Clapperboard is part of iZen is the Producer-led content group comprising of a network of independent production companies in Spain, the Middle East and the UK. iZen’s experience in scripted also extends to one of Amazon Prime Video’s largest original scripted series in Europe, El Cid.

About Eccho Rights: Eccho Rights is a global rights management company with offices in Stockholm, Istanbul, London, Madrid and Seoul. We work with independent producers to empower creativity worldwide. Since 2018 Eccho Rights has been a part of CJ ENM, one of Asia’s largest media and entertainment companies.

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14 March 2022


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