Whitby actress Joanne Froggatt to star in new ITV production about Covid-19 pandemic
and live on Freeview channel 276
Breathtaking recounts the devastating impact of the pandemic through the eyes of acute medicine consultant Dr Abbey Henderson, played by Golden-Globe-winning actress Froggatt.
It is based on doctor-writer Rachel Clarke’s personal memoir of the greatest public health crisis in living memory, adapted for TV by Rachel Clarke and former junior hospital doctors Jed Mercurio and Prasanna Puwanarajah.
Part one is on ITV tonight at 9pm.
Powerful and uplifting and written with candour and compassion, Froggatt – who comes from Littlebeck, near Whitby – said on completion of filming: “I feel truly honoured to be playing Dr Abbey Henderson in Breathtaking, based on Dr Rachel Clarke’s beautifully written, poignant and shocking book of the same name.
"When I first read the incredible scripts they moved me to tears.
"I felt so passionately that I had to be a part of telling this story, the real story, of what was really happening behind the closed doors of the hospitals during the pandemic.”
Froggatt, three times Emmy-nominated for her role as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey, added: “Our NHS staff are nothing less than absolute heroes in my eyes, and I hope telling this story goes a little way towards us understanding their truth, their lived experience and honouring their unbelievable commitment and sacrifice on behalf of us all.”
Set in a fictional big-city hospital, the drama narrates how frontline medical staff endured fear and frustration as they desperately tried to save the lives of coronavirus patients.
The three-part series is produced by Jed Mercurio’s independent production company, HTM Television, which has been responsible for producing Trigger Point, DI Ray, Bloodlands and the BAFTA-nominated factual drama Stephen.
Mercurio added: “Everyone at HTM Television has felt privileged to dramatise Rachel Clarke’s hauntingly illuminating memoir of health workers struggling to cope with the extraordinary challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Filming of Breathtaking was completed in Northern Ireland and is being produced in association with and distributed internationally by ITV Studios.