Features

The Tablet Interview - Once a Catholic... screenwriter and renowned TV producer Jimmy Mc­Govern talks to Peter Stanford Premium

18 May 2017 | by Peter Stanford

'A flawed priest is far more interesting than a flawed plumber'

 

Once a Catholic...

He might have lost his faith, but as the Liverpudlian scriptwriter tells Peter Stanford, his stories reflect a deep and sympathetic fascination with Catholicism

“I  always wonder why there aren’t more dramas about Cath­olicism,” muses Jimmy Mc­Govern. No one could accuse the Liverpudlian screenwriter of not pulling his weight in this regard.

His 1994 film, Priest, about a cleric struggling with his sexuality was both Bafta-nominated and banned by the Church in Ireland. His 2002 TV movie, Sunday, portrayed clerics on the front line during Bloody Sunday in Derry, and now his new high-profile BBC1 six parter, Broken, stars Sean Bean as the worldly, selfless Fr Michael Kerrigan, attempting to serve his God and his blighted inner-city parish.

“Everything I have ever watched that prominently features a priest,” says McGovern, “has always been a good film. As a subject, it just lends itself to drama so well.” Compulsive list-makers will, of course, be able to name exceptions, but the man who started out on Brookside and made himself a byword for gritty social realism with, among others, Cracker, The Lakes, Hillsborough and The Street is talking about his own impression. Those who laugh at or deride the Church don’t figure much on his horizon.

Jimmy McGovern





Register for free articles a month or subscribe now from £53* for 6 months unlimited access to article content.
Subscribe now and enjoy access to all parts of the tablet website, Including its 175 year archive...
Subscribe


Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue
Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

'I won’t forget what you said' President Trump tells Pope Francis at end of historic meeting in the Vatican24 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis continues process of strengthening his legacy with five new cardinal picks from the 'peripheries' 22 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position 09 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

'I won’t forget what you said' President Trump tells Pope Francis at end of historic meeting in the Vatican24 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis continues process of strengthening his legacy with five new cardinal picks from the 'peripheries' 22 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position 09 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

How cruel Christianity can be to its own most faithful servantsPremium24 May 2017 by Clifford Longley

The people’s cardinal: El Salvador's first cardinal embodies the Church of the Poor Premium24 May 2017 by Clare Dixon

Escape from a prison state: Cruelty, violence, intimidation and religious persecution are the norm in EritreaPremium18 May 2017 by John Pontifex

How cruel Christianity can be to its own most faithful servantsPremium24 May 2017 by Clifford Longley

The people’s cardinal: El Salvador's first cardinal embodies the Church of the Poor Premium24 May 2017 by Clare Dixon

Escape from a prison state: Cruelty, violence, intimidation and religious persecution are the norm in EritreaPremium18 May 2017 by John Pontifex

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top