Casting has been announced for Reggie Yates’s screenplay on BBC Three, which explores the impact and consequences of fast fame on reality TV contestants and their close friends and family.
Leading the cast is Tom Brittney (Grantchester, Outlander), alongside Amanda Abbington (Sherlock, Mr Selfridge), Aiysha Hart (Line Of Duty, Atlantis), Nina Sosanya (Killing Eve, W1A), Emma Rigby (Hollyoaks, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland), Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge (Enterprice) and Tilly Keeper (EastEnders).
When Billy succeeds in impressing the producers of a fictional constructed-reality show, he believes his life is set to change forever. A year after the show has aired, while some of Billy’s co-stars’ careers are thriving, Billy struggles to balance the afterglow of fame, social media, and tabloid kiss & tells, and the resulting assumptions people have made about his character – forcing deep vulnerabilities to the surface. Can Billy escape the reputation that now precedes him?
Produced by Expectation, Make Me Famous the latest in BBC Three’s strong heritage of highly acclaimed single dramas, which sensitively explore current social issues that affect young audiences.
Reggie Yates says: “I’ve spent my whole career working in television and seen everything it has to offer – the best of it, the worst of it, how much it can be a force for good, and the way it changes lives.
“Reality TV is loved by those in it and those who watch it, but there are issues that come with that and this felt like an opportunity to tell a story which explores the relationship between reality TV, social media and fame.
“It’s been a year in the making but it’s great to finally share this film with the BBC Three audience, who I feel have grown up alongside me, and I hope will resonate with our main character, Billy, who is very close to my heart.”
Tom Brittney says: “Every now and then you get sent a script through that really stands out and this was one of them. When I saw the storyline and synopsis I knew it was a story that needed to be told. I hope Billy’s story will give audiences more compassion towards the people they see on screen.”
Amanda Abbington says: “With such a brilliant and timely script, Reggie has his finger on the pulse of a generation – I’m thrilled to be a part of telling this story.”
Aiysha Hart says: “In an age where social media is almost inescapable and the demand for reality television is still high, almost all of us are touched in some way by their effects. I hope this film helps the audience explore that impact.”
Emma Rigby says: “This is a story that needs to be told. I feel like I’ve got a very strong connection to the material – exposure from a young age can be really tough. It’s extremely important that people can see the effects of this and what it is doing to our society.”
Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge says: “I feel honoured to be part of a project examining some of the long term effects of reality television. Make Me Famous offers a sobering insight into the world of reality TV.”
Tilly Keeper says: “I’m thrilled to be a part of this project. It’s a really important story that I think we could all learn something from.”
Produced by Expectation, the drama was commissioned for BBC Three by Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three, and Clare Sillery, Head Of Commissioning, Documentaries. The Executive Producers for Expectation are Bafta-winners Colin Barr and Sue Horth (Damilola, Our Loved Boy, Our World War, My Murder).
It has been written by Reggie Yates, directed by Peter King and produced by Margaret Conway. Make Me Famous is distributed by BBC Studios.