The teenager from Liverpool was murdered in a racist attack on 29th July 2005 in Huyton, Merseyside aged 18 and this is the story of the life he could have lived.
Toheeb Jimoh will play devout Christian Anthony who had a love of basketball and was known to his family and friends for his humour, intelligence and compassion. Anthony was halfway through college with dreams of visiting America and studying Law at university when he was murdered at just 18 years old.
Jimmy McGovern who has written the new 90-minute drama, was inspired by conversations with Gee Walker, Anthony's mother, about the boy Anthony was and the man he was to become. In Anthony, Gee Walker will be plated by Rakie Ayola.
Speaking about playing the part of Anthony, Toheeb Jimoh said “Anthony's story is a painfully tragic one but it's also full of hope, joy, promise and love. Jimmy's script captures that perfectly. I hope this film will serve as a tribute to Anthony and I feel truly honoured to have been asked to play him.”
And Rakie Ayola said “I'm so grateful we've been able to shine a light on Anthony Walker's story with the blessing and generosity of his mother Gee Walker.”
Toheeb and Rakie will appear alongside Julia Brown, Bobby Schofield, Stephanie Hyam, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Robinah Kironde, Dominique Moore, Phina Oruche, Siobhan McSweeney, Shaniqua Okwok, Wesley Bozonga, Leo Wringer, Lorna Gayle, Jay Lycurgo, Josh Bolt and James Ledsham who all play key roles in the film.
Speaking about the drama, Anthony Walker mother Gee said “I went to Jimmy because I couldn't think of anyone more suited who could depict, highlight and draw attention to the hard messages of a life not lived - Anthony's unfilled dreams, his potentials and the many lives he would have impacted on - which now will never be realised.”
To which Jimmy McGovern added “I'd known Gee Walker for many years and every time I had needed to write about loss or grief I had gone to her and she had always been generous with her time and her profound wisdom. But one day SHE came to ME and asked me to write about her beloved Anthony. I said, "Gee, if you're asking such a thing, I feel I have a God-given duty to do it." And so I did it.”
And finally, Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said “When commissioning drama linked to real life, we consider carefully the individual lives at the heart of the drama but also the wider societal story it might tell. Anthony is a case in point. A unique blend of fiction and reality, steered by Jimmy McGovern’s conversations with Anthony’s mother Gee Walker, it is the story of a young man who tragically lost his life but also of a life he might have led. We are honoured to be telling it on BBC One.”
Anthony was filmed in and around Liverpool.
Anthony will air on BBC One