Story of the Cragg Vale Coiners to be turned into a new BBC drama by 'This is England' creator Shane Meadows

The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers is set to be turned into a new BBC drama, following the BBC's announcement of six new commissions.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 9:04 am

The book by the Hebden Bridge-based author, which was published back in 2017, fictionalises the remarkable true story of the rise and fall of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners.

The series is set to be written by 'This is England' creator Shane Meadows and will be his first ever BBC television drama.

Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in eighteenth century Yorkshire, the compelling drama follows the enigmatic David Hartley, as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history.

Benjamin Myers, author of The Gallows Pole

Shane Meadows said: “The Gallows Pole is an incredible true story, little known outside of Yorkshire, about a group of very naughty men and women who started clipping and counterfeiting coins out in the Moors, as a way to keep themselves and their community alive.

"I’ve never made a period drama before so I’m absolutely buzzing, and to be doing it with Piers at the BBC, his incredible team, and Element Pictures is nothing short of an honour.”

The Gallows Pole will be produced by Element Pictures and executive produced by Piers Wenger and Tom Lazenby for the BBC.

The series was one of six new drama commissions announced by Piers Wenger, BBC Director of Drama.

Dolly Alderton will be adapting her much-loved autobiography Everything I Know About Love, the BIFA-winning writer of Rocks, Theresa Ikoko, will adapt soon-to-be published novel Wahala and “voice of a new generation” Cash Carraway pens Cash Carraway (w/t), inspired by her darkly funny debut memoir and starring Bafta-winner Daisy May Cooper.

Candice Carty-Williams, author of bestselling novel Queenie takes on her first TV project, an original drama series, the two time Bafta-winning writer-director of Mum, Stefan Golaszewski, turns his hand to drama for the first time and multi-award winning and revered writer-director Shane Meadows will tackle his first period drama, also his first ever drama for the BBC.

Wenger also revealed that he is working on a new project with the multi-talented Michaela Coel, after their remarkable collaboration on I May Destroy You. The first still of highly-anticipated BBC One drama The Tourist was also released.

Piers Wenger said: “I am incredibly proud of drama on the BBC and how its popularity, range and ambition is being recognised by viewers and critics alike. Seeing Small Axe, I May Destroy You and Normal People receive a record number of Bafta nominations and Line of Duty becoming the biggest drama of the 21st Century is staggering and humbling.

"We pride ourselves on the creative contribution we make and the value we offer to audiences. We will continue to build on the momentum of recent years to ensure that the BBC is and continues to be the home of the very best of British drama.

"In 2021, there are many places for audiences to access premium content. But it is our commitment to creative risk and our passion for Britain’s stand-out writing talent which ensures that even in the age of global streamers, we are able to win big.

"In the next few months alone, our dramas will feature world class screen talent such as Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw, Paul Bettany, Claire Foy, Colin Farrell, Jamie Dornan, David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Martin Freeman, as well as rising stars Erin Doherty, Bukky Bakray, Malachi Kirby, Connor Swindells, Shalom Brune-Franklin and Nicôle Lecky.

"And I’m delighted to announce these new commissions from writers who are already striking a chord with the British public: Cash, Dolly and Candice with their incredible books, Theresa with the astounding Rocks, Stefan, who following the huge success of Mum and Him & Her is turning his hand to hour-long drama, and not least of all the legendary Shane Meadows, who is working with the BBC for the first time on a historical drama which is destined to feel utterly of the moment. And finally, I’m thrilled to say we will be working with the unequalled Michaela Coel on another project, more news about that to follow in due course…”