Our Girl and Fleabag actor Ben Aldridge is set to take the leading role as DI Matthew Venn in ITV’s new adaptation, The Long Call.
“I can’t think of anyone who could play Matthew Venn better than Ben Aldridge. He will bring an authenticity and commitment to the role. I always hoped that the actor chosen would come from Devon, where the books are set, and he does.” – novelist Ann Cleeves
Inspired by Ann Cleeves’ best-selling novel of the same title, and airing across four instalments, The Long Call is driven by an intriguing and flawed protagonist, DI Matthew Venn, who has returned to live in a small community in North Devon with his husband, Jonathan.
It’s a place Matthew walked away from 20 years ago, after being rejected by his family. Now he’s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major murder.
Ben will be joined by Juliet Stevenson playing Matthew Venn’s mother, Dorothy and Martin Shaw as the spiritual Brethren leader Dennis. Anita Dobson, Neil Morrissey, Pearl Mackie, Dylan Edwards, Sarah Gordy, Amit Shah and Alan Williams also add their talents to the illustrious cast.
“Ben was the actor who read the audio book even before the TV show was commissioned. I love his pared-back, restrained narration. He’s worked on the novel as well as the script, and so he understands the character in depth. No author could wish for more.” – novelist Ann Cleeves
Ann Cleeves is best known for her critically-acclaimed Vera Stanhope series of crime novels which were adapted into a TV series starring Brenda Blethyn as the principal character in 2011.
The Long Call will be written and adapted by Kelly Jones (Baptiste, Des, Call The Midwife, The Good Karma Hospital) with Silverprint Pictures’ Creative Director Kate Bartlett (Flesh and Blood, Shetland, Vera, Dark Heart) executive producing the series.
Filming begins this month and will take place in Bristol and the North Devon coast.
“I’m delighted to be playing Matthew Venn, a brilliantly unorthodox detective who audiences will see solving a gripping and intricate case, whilst simultaneously surmounting a deeper, more personal mystery within himself. It’s a poignant and complex journey of self-discovery and sexual and religious identity, which navigates the tension between pride and shame, and I feel privileged to be bringing it to ITV viewers in The Long Call.” – Ben Aldridge
The drama will be produced in association with ITV Studios, which is handling international distribution.