When is The Accident on TV, who’s in the cast and how was the Channel 4 drama inspired by Grenfell?

18 October 2019, 14:46 | Updated: 18 October 2019, 14:49

Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Hard-hitting drama The Accident will be coming to our screens later this month - here’s everything you need to know.

With The Capture and A Confession finishing up a few weeks ago, Channel 4’s latest documentary is set to give us something else to get addicted to.

Written by Jack Thorne, The Accident is based on the fictional Welsh town of Glyngolau which is struck by tragedy when an explosion hits the construction site of a much-needed regeneration project.

But what is The Accident about, who is starring in the drama and how was it inspired by the Grenfell Tower disaster?

When is The Accident on?

The first episode of the four-part drama will air on Channel 4 on Thursday 24th October at 9pm.

The Accident is on October 24th
The Accident is on October 24th. Picture: Channel 4

What is The Accident about?

Set in a fictional ‘forgotten’ Welsh town of Glyngolau, a large construction project offers hope to the residents of regeneration.

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When an explosion hits the construction site, many are left dead and grieving families are desperate to find answers.

Channel 4’s synopsis reads: “In a community that has been left behind, a large construction project offers hope for a better future; regeneration, and much needed employment.

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“But an explosion, followed by a catastrophic collapse, leaves many dead, children included, and the community devastated.”

The Accident stars Sarah Lancashire
The Accident stars Sarah Lancashire. Picture: Channel 4

Channel 4 adds: “As communal grief gives way to a torrent of anger and blame, the community finds itself torn apart. Unwilling to accept that their children were to blame, the families cry for justice.”

Writer Thorne explains: “The concept of looking at corporate manslaughter, and the way that a corporate manslaughter trial might work, came about. And then we just researched like mad until we found a story that worked for that.”

Who is starring in series?

The Accident centres around the character Polly Bevan - the wife of the local politician who championed the regeneration project.

She is played by actress Sarah Lancashire who previously starred in Happy Valley and Thorne’s 2018 drama Kiri.

Polly’s husband, Councillor Iwan Bevan, is played by Mark Lewis Jones who starred in another one of Thorne’s creations, National Treasure (2018).

Joanna Scanlan is playing the character of Angela Griffiths
Joanna Scanlan is playing the character of Angela Griffiths. Picture: Channel 4

Jade Croot plays the couple’s rebellious teenage daughter Leona who gets caught up in the accident and ends up suffering life-changing injuries.

No Offence’s Joanna Scanlan, Westworld and Borgen star Sidse Babett Knudsen, Informer star Nabhaan Rizwan and Keeping Faith actress Eiry Thomas are also in the line up.

While Genevieve Barr, Shaun Parkes, Adrian Scarborough from Killing Eve and Years and Years’ Ruth Madeley will also play key parts.

How was The Accident inspired by Grenfell?

While writer Jack Thorne knew his latest drama would tackle the themes of “class” and “justice”, the story took shape in the months following the Grenfell disaster.

On 14th June 2017, a fire broke out in a 24-storey block of flats in West London and due to flammable exterior cladding, the blaze spread rapidly and killed 71 people. The inquiry is still ongoing.

The Grenfell tower disaster in 2017
The Grenfell tower disaster in 2017. Picture: PA Images

After being approached to create a series based on this, Thorne refused, explaining to RadioTimes: “I didn’t feel like there were the facts in place to look at it properly without hurting an awful lot of people, and doing a television thing of trampling over people’s lives.

“Not to say that there isn’t a beautiful drama to be made, I just didn’t feel capable of it myself.”

Instead, he decided to base it on the idea of corporate manslaughter, adding: “This is extraordinary that this has happened in our country, when we’re supposed to be people that are capable of looking after each other.”