TV adaptation of James Graham’s Dear England coming to BBC One

Joseph Fiennes (Gareth Southgate) in Dear England at the National Theatre
Joseph Fiennes (Gareth Southgate) in Dear England at the National Theatre. Credit: Marc Brenner

The BBC has announced a new drama series about Gareth Southgate and the England men’s football team, based on James Graham’s (Sherwood, The Way, Quiz) smash hit National Theatre play of the same name.

Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale, Shakespeare in Love) will star as Gareth Southgate, reprising his role from the stage show.

Rupert Goold (Judy, King Charles III, The Hollow Crown), who directed the play, will direct the TV series.

The four-part drama will be written by James Graham and made for BBC One and BBC iPlayer by Left Bank Pictures (The Crown, Quiz, Sitting in Limbo).

It’s time for a change in the game. The nation that introduced football to the world has since seen a consistent pattern of defeat. Why is it that the England team struggles to win at their own sport?

Holding the world’s poorest record for penalties, Gareth Southgate is aware that he must broaden his perspective and confront the years of disappointment to lead the team and nation towards victory.

Dear England is a dramatised portrayal of the challenges and triumphs faced by England’s football teams, crafted from thorough research and interviews. This stage play made its debut at the National Theatre to critical acclaim, receiving five-star reviews and a full house throughout its 2023 run, before making its way to London’s West End.

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama said: “Dear England was a back-of-the-net triumph on stage, and we could not be happier to work with James Graham, Joseph Fiennes, Rupert Goold and the team to give it the perfect home on the BBC.

“A story about the England team, football, national identity and so much more, this is hugely entertaining must-see television drama.”

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.