The Broughty Ferry writer who created Bob Servant has taken on an even bigger challenge — bringing one of the world’s greatest playwrights to life in a new comedy drama.
Neil Forysth has written two episodes of the forthcoming Sky Arts series Urban Myths, which explores little known stories about celebrities that may or may not be true.
In one episode to be shown in April, he recounts how the unlikely trio of Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando embarked on a cross-country road-trip in a rented car following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
It stars Stockard Channing as Taylor, Joseph Fiennes as Jackson and Dundee’s own Brian Cox as Marlon Brando, while the late Carrie Fisher makes a cameo appearance.
This month will see the broadcast of his first episode, which brings to life the bizarre relationship between avant-garde writer Samuel Beckett and a 12-year-old Andre Roussimoff, who later found fame as the wrestler and actor Andre the Giant.
As Andre suffered from gigantism, he was already over six-feet tall and weighted nearly 100kg by the time he was 12.
As a result, he was unable to fit in the school bus in his village in rural France and his parents were unable to afford a car strong enough to carry him.
Fortunately, their new neighbour, Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, stepped in to help and drove Andre to school each day.
The episode imagines the development of their friendship as they discuss life, love and cricket.
Neil said he “loved” bringing the true story to life.
Beckett is played by Shameless star David Threlfall, who Neil said gives an “incredible” performance.
“A producer told me the story that there was this unlikely connection between them, and I researched it then wrote it from there,” said Neil.
“I loved writing it, Beckett has such a unique, dry voice through his writing and his published letters and I did my best to try and give the show a tone that matched it.
“I wasn’t daft enough to try and replicate Beckett’s writing, it was more about fleshing out a character that people could briefly believe was him.
“Of course that mostly comes from David Threlfall, and I think his performance as Beckett is incredible. He was a really inspiring person to work with.”
Neil added: “Andre was a fascinating character who went on an amazing journey in his life, and it was lovely to put the two together and try and work out what that relationship could have been.
“He is excellently played by an Australian actor called Liam Macdonald, then we had a fantastic French actor in Vincent Londez to play Andre’s Dad.
“Although set in rural France, we actually largely shot it in an English vineyard half an hour from my house so that was a bit of a result, getting home for my tea.
“It’s a sweet little comedy drama that I’m really proud of, and am looking forward to people seeing it.”
Samuel Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 and is best known for the play Waiting for Godot in which, famously, nothing happens.
Andre the Giant shot to fame as a wrestler in the early 1980s but is most fondly-remembered for his role as the giant Fezzik in The Princess Bride.
Urban Myths: Samuel Beckett and Andre the Giant will be screened on Sky Arts at 10pm on January 26.