Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Ben Whishaw is set to star in the BBC’s adaptation of Adam Kay’s humorous medical memoir This Is Going To Hurt, while AMC has also joined the project as a co-producer in the U.S. and Canada.

The drama, which was first announced in July 2018, is made by Chernobyl producer Sister and tells the unvarnished story of life on a hospital ward through the eyes of a junior doctor, charting the heart-lifting highs and the gut-wrenching lows.

Whishaw will play the central character in This Is Going To Hurt and will be hoping to repeat the success of his last show for the BBC and AMC — A Very English Scandal. Playing Norman Scott alongside Hugh Grant landed him his Hollywood statues and a BAFTA.

He said: “It’s an honest, hilarious, heartbreaking look at the great [NHS] institution and the army of unsung heroes who work there under the most stressful conditions. The COVID-19 crisis has now shed even more light on their great work and underlines the necessity to support the NHS and its workers. I look forward to telling this story.”

Kay himself is adapting his book and co-producing through Terrible Productions, while Lucy Forbes will serve as the lead director on the series having previously helmed episodes of Channel 4 and Netflix hit The End of the F***cking World. BBC Studios is overseeing global sales.

Commenting on AMC’s decision to board the show, Dan McDermott, president of original programming and co-president of AMC Studios, said: “As we continue to search for unique voices and uncover authentic and rarely seen worlds, we’re proud to once again partner with the remarkable creative team at Sister on this timely series focusing a lens on the societal and cultural issues surrounding the healthcare system.”

Kay is the executive producer alongside Naomi de Pear, Jane Featherstone for Sister; James Farrell for Terrible Productions; Mona Qureshi for the BBC; and Kristin Jones and Dan McDermott for AMC. Holly Pullinger is the producer. Sister’s Dan Isaacs and BBC Studios VP Phil Sequeira brokered the deal with AMC. BBC drama controller Piers Wenger commissioned the series.

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