‘Dear England’: James Graham Ponders Which Former England Soccer Stars Could Feature In His BBC TV Version

James Graham’s double-OIivier Award winning play Dear England is hitting TV screens and the prolific creator is thinking about whether any former soccer players could make the cut.

Speaking to Deadline outside last night’s prestigious London theater awards, Graham floated the likes of Match of the Day host Gary Lineker and former England goalkeeper David Seaman as potentials, although no approaches have been made. Watch the full clip below.

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“It’s a drama first and foremost so of course we need good actors but [the question of having real soccer players in it is] a good question,” said Graham. “Do we get the real Gary Lineker? Do we get the real David Seaman? It’s a good question as [the show] should have that sense of fun and playfulness as well.”

Earlier this year, Match of the Day pundit Ian Wright featured in Daniel Kaluuya’s Netflix directorial debut The Kitchen, while footballers such as Vinnie Jones and Eric Cantona have turned their hands to acting at the conclusions of their careers.

Starring Joseph Fiennes, Dear England, which kicked off at the National, won two Oliviers last night, for supporting actor Will Close, who portrayed England captain Harry Kane, and for best new play.

Dear England follows the England men’s football team under manager Gareth Southgate in the run-up to, and aftermath of, three tournaments: the team’s unexpected run to the semifinals at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, its disappointing defeat in the 2020 European Championship final at Wembley Stadium and its quarter-final exit from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Dear England on the BBC will also star Fiennes and was announced on a bumper BBC slate in February. The length of the BBC version will depend on the success of England’s campaign at this summer’s Euros, joked Graham, who also said he’d love the play to go on tour.

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