A new TV drama about the 1989 disaster tells the story of bereaved mother and campaigner Anne Williams, played by Maxine Peake. Survivor Adrian Tempany talks to the show’s makers and stars

Maxine Peake remembers the day she got the call from her agent. “He said: ‘A script has come in. It’s about Anne Williams, the Hillsborough campaigner, and… ’ and straight away,” Peake says, “I got in there and said: ‘Yes!’ My agent said: ‘Don’t you want to read it first?’ I said: ‘Oh, all right, then… Can’t we just get cracking on it?’”

Peake had seen Anne Williams on the news, campaigning for justice for her teenage son Kevin, who died at the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in 1989. But she never met Anne, who died in 2013. Soon, the doubts set in. “I sat back and thought: ‘Can I play her? I don’t look like her, I don’t sound like her, Anne’s a mother…’ [As an actor] you think of all the things that you’re not. But then I just thought: ‘This is not about me, it’s about telling a story. It’s about the privilege of being a part of something like this.’”

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