Doctor-turned-comedy-writer Adam Kay mined his experience as a junior doctor in the NHS for his memoir This Is Going to Hurt, chronicling 97-hour weeks and low-paid life-or-death decisions on the obstetrics and gynaecology ward (aka 'brats and twats') across his diary entries between 2004 and 2010.
Kay will be writing and producing the upcoming BBC adaptation, and a loose version of himself will be played by Paddington Brown himself – Ben Whishaw. The British actor, who voices Paddington and played Q in three of the Daniel Craig Bond movies, has been racking up roles in both indie projects and starry adaptations like Little Joe, Mary Poppins Returns and The Personal History of David Copperfield. He last worked with the BBC on A Very English Scandal opposite Hugh Grant.
On Kay's book, Whishaw told the BBC: 'It’s an honest, hilarious, heart-breaking look at the great institution and the army of unsung heroes who work there under the most stressful conditions. The Covid-19 crisis has now shed even more light on their great work and underlines the necessity to support the NHS and its workers.'
Ambika Mod (left) as young junior doctor Shruti. Photo: BBC
Starring alongside Whishaw is Ambika Mod (Trying) as Shruti, a young junior doctor who works with Adam on the same ward. Shruti has the potential to be a great doctor, but the chaotic nature of the job throws those aspirations into doubt. Harriet Walter (Succession, Ted Lasso) is also starring as Adam's mother, with Michele Austin (The Children Act) as the senior midwife Tracy and Alex Jennings (Small Axe: Mangrove) as Adam's domineering boss Mr Lockhart.
Kay's story is safe in the hands of promising TV director Lucy Forbes, who's directing the first four episodes. Forbes helmed Channel 4's sardonic comedy The End of the F***ing World and six episodes of Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe in 2013, to name only a couple of her credits. Ghosts director Tom Kingsley will take over the last three episodes.
Considering how vital the NHS is and has been during these disastrous Pandemic Years, This Is Going to Hurt can't come soon enough.
This Is Going to Hurt will air on BBC One in early 2022.
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