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Jason Donovan & Martine McCutcheon Return To Their Soap Roots

26th June 2007 Print
Jason Donovan and Martine McCutcheon are to return to their soap roots in Echo Beach, a post-watershed soap for ITV1. With a clever twist, a second new series will show Ben Miller (Armstrong And Miller, Primeval, The Worst Week) playing the hapless producer desperate to make the soap a success in a behind-the-scenes comedy titled Moving Wallpaper, also to be shown on ITV1.

Kudos, the production company behind Life On Mars, Spooks and Hustle, will make both 12 part series and the two shows will run together on ITV1. Because of Moving Wallpaper and Echo Beach’s distinctive set up, eagle-eyed viewers will see jokes, characters and stories crossing from one show to the other.

For instance, actress Susie Amy (Footballer’s Wives, Hotel Babylon) will feature as a supporting artist in Moving Wallpaper, begging Jonathan Pope for a line in Echo Beach. Viewers will then see Susie triumphantly star as Angela in the soap.

The parts of ex-lovers Daniel Marrack (Donovan) and Susan Penwarden (McCutcheon) and anxious producer Jonathon Pope (Miller) have been created by Tony Jordan, lead writer and story consultant for EastEnders, co-creator of Life On Mars and creator of Hustle.

Jordan has penned both the fictional coastal resort of Polnarren in Cornwall - where the surfboards aren’t the only things making waves - and the chaotic offices of Echo Beach Productions, where the dramas of Polnarren are created.

Echo Beach will follow the lives of Daniel and Susan, whose complicated affairs are played out amongst teenage angst, family loyalties and tested friendships. Martine will play a woman with a past, while Jason will play the ghost from that past she never thought would return to Polnarren. On the other side of the camera is Moving Wallpaper, where the army of executives, crew and publicists behind the soap will be taken to the brink of insanity by the irrepressible Pope.

Jordan, who has written for Eastenders since 1985, will executive produce both shows with Kudos’s Jane Featherstone and Alison Jackson.

Both Echo Beach and Moving Wallpaper are Kudos Productions in Association with Red Planet Pictures.