This Is England’s Shane Meadows and Stephen Graham reunite for gripping drama set in Ireland
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This Is England’s Shane Meadows and Stephen Graham reunite for gripping drama set in Ireland

THIS IS England filmmaker Shane Meadows is reuniting with long-time collaborator Stephen Graham for a new drama series set in Ireland.

The Virtues stars Graham as Joseph, a struggling alcoholic who suffers a major setback in his personal life when his ex-partner moves abroad with their young son.

Moving from Liverpool to Australia in search of a better life, Joseph is left behind the pick up the pieces of his increasingly fragmented existence.

He heads to Ireland in a bid to reconnect with his sister who he hasn’t seen since childhood.

But it’s not long before Graham’s character is forced to confront the demons of his past that first pushed him away from life on the Emerald Isle.

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Due to air on Channel 4, The Virtues has already garnered critical praise, picking up a major award at the French drama festival Series Mania.

The series bagged the Grand Prix award at the gala event – the most prestigious honour on offer at the festival.

Stephen Graham in This Is England (Image: Channel 4).

“From the first frame, The Virtues moves you with its deep humanity,” a statement from the festival’s jury read.

“Masterfully directed, written and acted, the show is a prime example of the power of series television to illuminate and create empathy.”

Meadows boasts an impressive track record of success on the big and small screen.

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While This Is England helped put both the filmmaker and Graham on the map, other notable credits include A Room For Romeo Brass and Dead Man’s Shoes.

He also returned to TV with the This Is England follow-ups This Is England ’86, This Is England ’88 and This Is England ’90.

All three were met with critical acclaim.

Graham meanwhile went on to more TV success with HBO’s Boardwalk Empire along with countless TV and film roles.

“The Virtues reunites me with the peerless Stephen Graham, whilst also allowing me the chance to work with a host of supremely gifted actors and some incredible new talent,” Meadows said .

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“It takes the biblical, almost apocalyptic levels of revenge witnessed in Dead Man’s Shoes, along with the bittersweet humour from This Is England and creates a landscape like nothing else I’ve ever worked on.”

The four-part series will be broadcast on Channel 4 later this year.