JUNE BROWN STARS IN TOUCHING CHRISTMAS DRAMA ABOUT SEPARATION DURING THE PANDEMIC
Acting legend June Brown may have given up her role as Dot in EastEnders but the 93 year old is far from retiring. This Christmas she plays the mother of a son with Down's syndrome who is separated from him because of the Pandemic.
It’s June’s first role since quitting the BBC’s long running hit soap and explores a relationship strained by the isolation felt by many during the Covid 19 crisis.
‘Missing You’ was commissioned by production company MIM for Distinct Nostalgia, the very same platform June used to announce her departure from EastEnders back in February.
And the 30 minute audio piece kicks off ‘Generation Games’, a new series of occasional monologues and duologues aimed at exploring relationships across the generational divide.
June plays Margey, who against advice, refused to give her son up for adoption when she was told he had Down's syndrome. She has protected William fiercely throughout his life, even when William has preferred not to be protected. Despite the tensions that arose when William demanded his independence, both mother and son remain devoted to each other. Now they can’t see each-other due to the pandemic and the enforced separation causes each of them to reflect on their shared past.
'Missing You' is written by Richard Vergette who says: ‘Being the parent of a young man with Down’s syndrome I’m aware that the compassionate response we received by medical staff at our son’s birth, wasn’t always the experience of parents from previous generations. Parents like Margey had to fight just for the right to bring up their own child. William is equally formidable and needs to lead his own life – away from his Mother.
Richard continues: ‘I’m fortunate enough to have worked with the excellent actor, Sam Barnard, so was delighted when he agreed to play the role of William. When writing the role of Margey I had the voice of June Brown in my head and so asked the producer, Ashley Byrne, “Can we find a June Brown type of actress?”. “How about June Brown?” he replied! I still can’t quite believe that a living legend is playing in a piece I’ve written. They are both brilliant in their respective roles and bring home the frustrations as well as the joys of their characters’ relationship.’
Actor Sam Barnard commenting on his part says: "June is such a legend and a hero of mine since I was little. When I was asked to play this role I said "OOH I SAY" and did a little dance of joy!"
MIM and Distinct Nostalgia Creative Director Ashley Byrne adds: ‘This is a very touching and thoughtful portrayal and is a tremendous story to kick off our series exploring relationships across the generations. We’ll be bringing more established names together with not so well known talent in a bid to tackle ageism in our society. In broadcasting the trend is to increasingly shove people in age silos and never the twain shall meet but we feel the portrayal of relationships with people across the generations is crucial for social cohesion.’
'Missing You' is produced by Made in Manchester (MIM) and can be heard on Distinct Nostalgia from Boxing Day. Distinct Nostalgia can be found wherever you get your podcasts.
Distinct Nostalgia began in January 2020 and regularly charts. The main content includes interviews and reunions with famous tv and movie stars and it regularly celebrates the soaps, comedy and British film. DN also includes new drama and comedy.