A six-part TV drama about the UK's two-tone music scene has been commissioned by the BBC from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight! The show will tell the story of an extended family and four young people who enter the world of ska and two-tone.
Ben Irving, Acting Director of BBC Drama: “Steven has taken his knowledge of this time and place and used it to weave a brilliantly original and characterful drama, set against the musical backdrop of ska and two tone."
The post-punk 2 Tone movement grew from the English cities Coventry and Birmingham in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Filming will begin in Birmingham later in 2022 and the series is set to air on BBC One.
“This is a project that’s literally very close to home and I’m developing characters and themes that are set in the early 80s but hopefully are very contemporary. Of course, the soundtrack will be sensational,” said Knight.
The joyous and youthful nature of 2 Tone can be found in the life & music of Ranking Roger, frontman of the multicultural band The Beat and its subsequent iterations, and a collaborator with artists such as The Clash, The Police and The Specials.
Ranking Roger possessed energy, positivity and creativity - characteristics which are reflected in his autobiography I Just Can't Stop It, which was published, sadly, shortly after his death in 2019.
Daniel Rachel, co-author of I Just Can't Stop It, has compiled a playlist of the best of The Beat, which can be heard on Spotify here.