Today ITV have announced Torvill and Dean, a two-hour single drama that tells the story of Jayne and Chris’s iconic partnership from both a personal and artistic perspective.
Written by leading film, television and theatre writer, William Ivory (Made in Dagenham, Burton and Taylor), Torvill and Dean charts Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s early years and the creative impetus that finally drove them to become ice dancing royalty.
We’ll learn about their humble beginnings and family life in Nottingham; how Chris, following the breakup of his parents’ marriage, channelled his anger into skating and how Jayne, was outwardly reserved, and determined to explore her inwardly passionate nature. We explore how Chris and Jayne clashed as they separately and together tried to establish a new language for ice dance – one which won gold medals but also spoke to their private, intense relationship.
Will Tudor (Game of Thrones, Humans) will take the role of Christopher Dean, and Poppy Lee Friar (Ackley Bridge, Eve, In the Club) will play Jayne Torvill.
Joining them will be acting royalty, Anita Dobson (EastEnders) who will take the role of Miss Perry, Jayne’s first coach at the Nottingham Ice Stadium, and Stephen Tompkinson (The Split, Trollied, DCI Banks) will Jayne’s father, George, whilst Jo Hartley (Bliss, This Is England ’90) plays her mum Betty.
Dean Andrews (The Moorside) and Christine Bottomley (Fearless) will play Chris’s parents, Colin and Mavis, and Jaime Winstone (Babs, Ellen,) plays Janet Sawbridge, the ice dancing instructor who pairs Chris and Jayne together for the first time. Susan Earl (So Awkward, I Want My Wife Back) takes the role of Betty Dean.
Both Jayne and Chris have spent many hours being interviewed by screenwriter, William Ivory, who was also born and bred in Nottingham and is a passionate advocate of the region.
Speaking about the drama, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean said “We feel very honoured that ITV have commissioned this film based on what was a very significant period in each of our lives. We have thoroughly enjoyed the time we have spent with William Ivory and the team at Darlow Smithson sharing experiences of our passion for skating, the life long friendship that came through our sport and everything that it took to achieve our eventual goal of becoming Olympic champions.”
Whilst writer William Ivory added “It’s been such a privilege to work on this piece. Chris and Jayne are such fascinating characters: sports people and athletes with all the grit and determination that entails, but real artists, too, engaging in deeply felt creative and emotional battles.”