Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Dundee-born director still has faith in future of the arts, ahead of major BBC drama release

A Dundee-born director has predicted the film industry will survive the coronavirus crisis and urged aspiring Scots not to give up hope.

With the arts industry under threat across the UK, director Michael Keillor said he wanted to encourage young Scots to hold on to their dreams.

The 46-year-old, who was born in Broughty Ferry and attended school in Monifieth, was speaking ahead of the release of his new BBC political drama, Roadkill.

The four-part thriller follows the life of senior Conservative government minister Peter Laurence, played by award-winning Hugh Laurie, best known for his leading role in medical drama House.

Michael, who studied law at Dundee University before turning to filming, said: “If I can help one young filmmaker in Dundee to think ‘if he can do it, I can do it too,’ then that’s good enough for me.

“The film industry was in hell before coronavirus and this has made it a lot worse but if it can come back from this, which I think it will, there’s a real bright future for film and TV, especially in Scotland.

“It was really tough for me to break in so I know what it’s like,” he added.

“We’ve got to get more Scottish people behind the camera, as well as in front of it.”

It comes after performing arts groups in Tayside, which launched the careers of household names including Holywood star Alan Cumming, said they feared they have been forgotten in government support packages.

Now living in London, Michael still has family in Dundee and visits regularly.

Hugh Laurie in character.
Helen McCrory plays the Prime Minister in the new drama.

He and writer David Hare said Roadkill, which airs this weekend, is not based on any current or previous government, with barely a mention of Brexit and none of coronavirus.

Michael, whose previous directing work includes roles on Chimerica, Line of Duty, The Young James Herriot and Mr Selfridge, said: “With politics moving so fast, we were quite keen not to get caught up in the current climate and issues.

“You’re always going to have audiences trying to draw comparisons but I think when you start watching you’ll see there has been no Prime Minister like the one Helen (McCrory) plays and no minister like Hugh.

“We want people to be able to relate to and like him [Peter], even though he is doing all of these reprehensible things and it’s not someone you would usually be drawn to.

“A lot of people in those roles get through by being defensive, denying and blustering.

“That type of politics is something we see a lot of, so we wanted to take a real look at how these characters bounce back from things.”

All Roadkill filming was finished by January, meaning social distancing did not cause a major disruption but all production had to be completed remotely.

Michael, who is taking a well earned break, said: “A lot of bigger productions are trying to get back now and it’s really tough to work round social distancing.

“The soaps are a bit more used to it because they’re used to having to work no matter what but for one-off dramas, if it doesn’t work you have to change your storyline.”

Roadkill airs on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday October 18.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]