BBC to mark Patrick Hamilton centenary

Documentary plus adaptation of Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky to be shown

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To mark the centenary of Chiswick author Patrick Hamilton BBC Four are to screen a three part adaptation of Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky plus a documentary about the author's life. The first episode will be broadcast on Tuesday 19th April.

Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky is a story of unrequited love set against the backdrop of the grimy streets and public houses of Thirties London. The book features several scenes based in Chiswick. Nick Hornby described the book as the missing link in British literature between Dickens and Martin Amis. The drama, which is directed by local resident Simon Curtis, stars a talented young cast including Bryan Dick (Blackpool) as Bob, Zoe Tapper (Pepys, Stage Beauty) as Jenny and Sally Hawkins (Fingersmith) as Ella. Phil Davis (Vera Drake, Rose And Maloney, Fields of Gold) also features as Mr Eccles.

Patrick Hamilton, responsible for both the haunting Gaslight and the atmospheric Hangover Square, published the semi-autobiographical trilogy under the title of Twenty Thousand Streets in 1935.

It follows the painful pursuit of love from three different perspectives: barman Bob, who yearns for penniless street-walker Jenny; his colleague Ella, torn between the attentions of an older, wealthier man and her secret desire for Bob; and Jenny, forced onto the streets through circumstances and now struggling to keep her head above water.

Executive producer Gareth Neame said, "Patrick Hamilton was one of the truly great British novelists of the 20th Century, but his extraordinary contribution has all too often been overlooked. His famous psychological thrillers such as Rope, Gaslight and Hangover Square influenced many of the celebrated filmmakers of the last century such as Alfred Hitchcock."

A documentary on Hamilton narrated by Richard E. Grant and featuring Chiswick resident Nick Robinson will be broadcast on Monday 18th April.

April 18, 2005