‘Downton Abbey’ producer says BBC’s fake news drama series ‘Press’ will feel ‘real’

Doctor Foster creator Mike Bartlett’s new series about two fictional, competing newspapers will feel “fresh” and “thrilling,” says the BBC’s drama boss.

The official synopsis reads: “Set in the fast-paced and challenging environment of the British newspaper industry, Press immerse viewers in the personal lives and the constant professional dilemmas facing its characters.

“The series follows their lives as they attempt to balance work and play, ambition and integrity, amid the never-ending pressure of the 24-hour global news cycle and an industry in turmoil.”

The ensemble cast includes David Suchet (Poirot), Charlotte Riley (King Charles III), Ben Chaplin (Apple Tree Yard), Priyanga Burford (London Spy), Paapa Essiedu (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Al Weaver (Grantchester).

The six 60-minute episodes will began filming in London this month, directed by Tom Vaughan (Victoria).

Downton Abbey executive producer Rebecca Eaton commented: “News, fake news, business and politics have long been bedfellows – now more than ever. Mike Bartlett understands how to make all this real and immediate.”

Executive producer Faith Penhale added: “It’s a real thrill to be working with such an exciting group of some of Britain’s best actors. They are each individually, gobsmackingly talented, but together, and with Mike’s stunning scripts as well as Tom’s brilliant directing, they will create something extraordinary.”

BBC Drama controller Piers Wenger said: “The newspaper business is part of Britain’s identity and Mike’s gripping stories of crusading journalists in this ever-changing industry, brought to life by this brilliantly talented cast make for a fresh, thrilling and utterly British contemporary drama”.

Press will air on BBC One in the UK in 2018 and on Masterpiece on PBS at a later date.