Growing up through the 90s, I’ve always thought of Jimmy McGovern as synonymous with hard-hitting, honest drama and so it comes as a perfect fit as a writer for Anthony, the story of Liverpool teenager Anthony Walker who was murdered on 29 July 2005 in a racist attack. It aired on the BBC on 27th July and you can pre-order the DVD now!
Inspired by conversations with Gee Walker, Anthony’s mother, this 90 minute drama will be about the boy he was and the man he was to become, Anthony stars Toheeb Jimoh as Walker, and Rakie Ayola (Noughts + Crosses) as Gee Walker.
Walker was a devout Christian and had a deep love of basketball, he was also 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. He was only 18 years old.
Alongside Jimoh and Ayola, the cast includes Julia Brown (World on Fire), Bobby Schofield (Knightfall), Stephanie Hyam (Bodyguard), Gbemisola Ikumelo (Sex Education), Robinah Kironde (The Widow), Dominique Moore (A Confession), Phina Oruche (Taken Down), Siobhan McSweeney (Derry Girls), Shaniqua Okwok (Small Axe), Wesley Bozonga (Sliced), Leo Wringer (Black Earth Rising), Lorna Gayle (Carmilla), Jay Lycurgo (I May Destroy You), Josh Bolt (Last Tango in Halifax) and James Ledsham (Levelling the Score) who all play key roles in the film.
Gee Walker, Anthony Walker’s mother, had this to say:
“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.”
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.”
Toheeb Jimoh, who plays Anthony Walker, 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.”