Is Best Interests based on a true story? All you need to know about the BBC drama starring Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan

Virgin Radio

20 Jun 2023, 15:07

Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan surrounded by journalists with microphones in the new BBC drama, Best Interests.

Credit: BBC

The heartbreaking four-part series is currently airing on BBC One.

Writer and producer Jack Thorne has won multiple awards for his heartbreaking storytelling style.

In 2021, his COVID-19-inspired film Help, starring Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer, left viewers in floods of tears.

Now he is back with his latest drama Best Interests, which started at 9pm on Monday 12th June, 2023.

The four-part series tells the fictional story of parents Nicci (Sharon Horgan) and Andrew Lloyd (Michael Sheen), as they fight for their terminally ill child to keep receiving treatment.

13-year-old Marnie Lloyd, who is played by Niamh Moriarty, has a form of congenital muscular dystrophy that ceaselessly weakens her body.

One night, she is rushed to hospital with a chest infection that leaves her in a coma.

As Marnie’s health worsens, the doctors advise the Lloyd family to stop her care, but they refuse to accept this.

Determined to keep their youngest daughter alive, the case ends up going to court and feelings of doubt and regret start to kick in. 

Are they acting in Marnie’s best interests or their own? 

In a BBC statement, writer Jack Thorne said: “Our country has a very troubled relationship with disability and these cases put a spotlight on that. But our drama is first and foremost a love story and it needs incredible actors to bring it to life.

“Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen lead a company of ridiculous talents that pull you into the most interesting of places.

He added: “As a parent of a three-year-old, I've looked at the cases in the media about 'best interests' with some fascination and a little dread. 

"When the worst happens, how do you keep your head when everything around you feels wrong? 

“We are going to try and tell a nuanced story that talks about this issue from all sides.”

Although this particular story is fictional, the struggles the Lloyd family face have occurred in real life.

According to Muscular Dystrophy UK, 110,000 children and adults are currently suffering from the disease in this country.

Horgan, who is best known for playing Sharon Morris in Catastrophe, recalled feeling heartbroken after she read the script for the first time.

The Irish actress explained: “Best Interests broke me when I first read the script and then again after talking with Jack about it. 

“Covid seems to have shone a closer light on the desperate inequalities that exist for our disabled community so this felt very timely.”

Her co-star Michael Sheen added: “Jack Thorne is such an extraordinary writer and he has approached this incredibly important urgent subject with humanity, honesty, and humour.”

Best Interests is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.