Screenwriter Jimmy McGovern has warned that viewers will be ‘deeply affected’ by his latest work, a BBC drama about Anthony Walker, who was murdered in a racist attack in Liverpool aged 18.
The new 90-minute film, entitled Anthony, documents how the devout Christian was brutally killed on 29th July 2005 in Huyton, Merseyside – and it envisages the life he could have lived.
In an interview with the Sunday Express, the multi BAFTA-winning writer, 71, from Liverpool, said he expected viewers to be ‘deeply affected’ by ‘horrendous scenes’ in the largely fictional programme, which has been inspired by conversations with Anthony’s mother, Gee Walker.
Anthony will be played by Toheeb Jimoh, and Rakie Ayola will portray his mother.
The Cracker writer said: ‘I don’t think you will have a more powerful demonstration of loss than this.’
Anthony was a Liverpool teenager with a devout Christian faith and a love of basketball.
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 slain with an ice axe after he walked away from thugs shouting racist abuse in the Huyton area of Merseyside in 2005.
Paul Taylor, 20, was sentenced to at least 23 years in jail – he is the cousin of Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton.
Michael Barton, the brother of Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton, was sentenced to 17 years and eight months for the murder.
The film was made following in-depth conversations with Gee Walker, Anthony’s mother, about the boy Anthony was and the man it was hoped he would become.
The screenwriter is known for penning series’ like Cracker, Accused, and the TV film Hillsborough.
Jimmy revealed he was approached by Gee in 2016, who felt it was time to tell her son’s story.
She has previously 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.’
Jimmy went on to reveal that in the process of writing the drama he had spoken with one of the surgeons that operated on Anthony, who was ‘stunned’ by the severity of the crime.
Jimmy previously told in a statement: ‘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.’