New Yorkshire-based TV drama left in limbo by row over rights

Maxine Peake and Matthew McNulty star in a new adaptation of Room At The Top.
Maxine Peake and Matthew McNulty star in a new adaptation of Room At The Top.
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The BBC has admitted it does not know when its new screen version of classic novel Room At The Top will see the light of day.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the two-part adaptation of the late John Braine’s gritty tale of 1940s life was due to be broadcast on BBC Four in April.

It was pulled at the last minute, however, after it emerged there was a dispute over the rights to the Yorkshire-based story.

Now, three months on, the Beeb has confirmed that the row has still to be resolved. As a result, a spokeswoman said, a new date has not been set for the eagerly-awaited programme’s transmission.

Braine’s widow, 79-year-old Pat, is known to have given her approval to the adaptation.

The YEP has been told, however, that a third party came forward shortly before April’s original broadcast date claiming ownership of the story’s TV rights.

Filming on the project took place last year and involved a string of landmarks that would prove familiar to local telly viewers.

Sites used included Morley Town Hall, the Bramham Park estate and Leeds pubs the Cardigan Arms and the Garden Gate.

Bradford’s Connaught Rooms and Todmorden Hippodrome were also pressed into service for the shoot.

Location and crewing support was provided by Screen Yorkshire, the Leeds-based agency that promotes the county’s cinema, broadcast and media industries.

The BBC Four programme is the first screen take on Room At The Top since the 1959 movie starring Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret as troubled lovers Joe Lampton and Alice Aisgill.

Matthew McNulty (Control) and Maxine Peake (Red Riding) fill the roles of Joe and Alice in the new production.