Line of Duty’s Martin Compston to star alongside Tony Curran in BBC adaptation of Mayflies

Line of Duty actor Martin Compston will star in a BBC mini-series based on Andrew O’Hagan’s acclaimed novel, Mayflies.

Tony Curran and Ashley Jensen will also star in the drama, which will be filmed in and around Glasgow and Ayrshire this autumn.

O’Hagan’s coming-of-age novel, which was named the Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2021 in November, explores a friendship that starts in the summer of 1986 when Jimmy (Compston) and Tully (Curran) bond over music, films and the rebel spirit.

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The “nostalgic, poignant and moving” story examines what happens to the friendship when it is put to the test after the phone rings with unexpected news 30 years later.

Line of Duty’s Martin Compston to star alongside Tony Curran in BBC adaptation of Mayflies

Mayflies is a co-commission with BBC Scotland and will be made by the Bafta-award winning Synchronicity Films for the BBC.

Glasgow-born O’Hagan said: “The story is a very personal one to me, and it’s amazing to see the characters come to life in Andrea Gibb’s wonderful adaptation.

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“Director Peter Mackie Burns has a singular vision, and I look forward to seeing what he makes of the Ayrshire landscape and the emotional reality of this story.”

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Jensen plays Tully’s partner Anna in the mini-series, which is being made for the BBC in association with All3 Media International, with support from Screen Scotland.

Gaynor Holmes, BBC Drama commissioning editor, said: “Mayflies is an intimate and devastating portrait of male friendship that manages to be both life-affirming and heart-breaking, and we’re delighted to have assembled an outstanding lead cast and creative team to bring it from page to screen.”

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Gibb said adapting the novel for the screen has been one of the highlights of her career.

She said: “Andrew tells his story of enduring male friendship with love, truth, tenderness and a searing humanity. There’s not an ounce of sentimentality.

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“It’s very funny and deeply moving. The characters of Tully and Jimmy are instantly recognisable and totally unforgettable.

“Both are so alive and vibrant they leap off the page. It’s been a joy and a privilege living with them.”

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Mayflies will air on BBC One, BBC Scotland and BBC iPlayer with a release date yet to be confirmed.