Ed Stoppard is having a cracking time playing Brian Epstien in the ITV drama Cilla. Cilla Black is played by actress Sheridan Smith. Cilla capures the spirit of the 60’s when Merseybeat was in high bloom and the Beatles were elevated to megastars. Most people only know Brian Epstien’s fame with promoting the Beatles, but his involvement with Cilla Black is how he met the Beatles in the first place (through Ringo Star, Cilla’s friend).
WHILE all eyes – and eager fans – have been following actress Sheridan Smith in the title role, filming for ITV drama Cilla has been cracking on apace elsewhere too.
Across town, at Ye Cracke pub, in Rice Street off Hope Street, actor Ed Stoppard has been shooting scenes as Cilla’s manager Brian Epstein.
Ed, son of playwright Tom Stoppard and author and agony aunt Dr Miriam Stoppard, has been cast as the Merseybeat mentor for the series which charts the singer’s career rise over a decade.
He looked suitably sixties on set, surrounded by fellow cast in costume, although fans might know him best in a rather more elegant period role, as the dashing Sir Hallam Holland (husband of Keeley Hawes’ Lady Agnes) in BBC1’s remake of Upstairs Downstairs.
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Cilla Black Black recorded nearly a dozen recording hits between 1961 and 1971.
The actress will star as the famous Liverpudlian in the drama, by Jeff Pope, which will “capture the essence of 1960s Liverpool”.
It will look at her friendship with Ringo Starr which brought her to the attention of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin.
Smith said she was “thrilled” to be playing “a British icon” .