PARKLIFE: INNOVATIVE NEW NORWICH-BASED RADIO SOAP CAPTURES THE SPIRIT OF OUR TIMES
The pilot episode of Parklife, a new radio drama serial set in a fictional Norwich park and featuring cameos by ex-Norwich City footballer Paul McVeigh and presenter Chris Goreham, was broadcast on BBC Radio Norfolk on Saturday, 14th November 2020.
Created by Script6, a Norfolk writers’ collective, Parklife is the first ever soap to be set in a park. Its main storylines include the burgeoning romance between a new young gardener and a park trainee; and the struggles of the family who are trying to keep the park café open. Watching over them [all] is the ghost of a young man who helped build the park but died in the flu pandemic following World War One.
‘Parks are really being recognized now for their importance to everyone,’ said showrunner and co-creator, Lilie Ferrari. ‘For many, a park is the only open space available for fresh air, exercise and play.’
‘It’s an opportunity to explore ordinary lives in extraordinary times,’ said director and co-creator Belona Greenwood. ‘Where better to tell these stories? Parks are the re- emerging heart of our community.’
Guest star Paul McVeigh agrees: “Parks are vital. They’re helping keep everyone sane just now. They played an important part in my own life growing up in Belfast, in all my years playing football and right now as we all look for ways to get out in the fresh air.”
The pilot was recorded in Lilie’s back garden in Aylsham in August. Lilie, who has worked on EastEnders, Holby and Casualty, said: ‘television is struggling to get back on its feet right now, with all the extra constraints involved in filming. The great thing about recording Parklife was that we were able to keep our actors and technicians distanced and out in the open.’
‘We would love PARKLIFE to carry on,’ she continued. ‘If there are any producers out there who would like to work with us, we would be delighted. We’ve already storylined the next ten episodes…’
PARKLIFE went out on Sophie Little’s Upload Show on BBC Radio Norfolk, 6-7pm, Saturday 14 November.
Script6 Ltd is a writer’s collective creating regional stories for television, radio and theatre. More information can be found here:
Paul McVeigh joined Norwich City Football Club in 2000 and was the club’s top scorer in the 2002-3 season. Hugely popular with fans, McVeigh was capped by Northern Ireland 20 times. These days he is an motivational speaker and lives in Northern Ireland.
Chris Goreham is a presenter on BBC Radio Norfolk.
Parklife’s pilot episode was written by award-winning dramatist Nicholas McInerny.