Chris Lang (born 1961) is a British television writer, actor, producer and musician. Lang has written for many British television series but is best known as the writer, creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed and award winning Unforgotten.
Lang in 2014
|Born||March 30, 1961|
Peckham, London, England
|Occupation||Screenwriter, television producer|
|Notable works||Amnesia (2004)|
A Mother's Son (2012)
Unforgotten (2015– )
He trained at RADA, graduating in 1983, after winning the Royal Academy award for 'A Series of Outstanding Performances in the Vanbrugh Theatre'. As an actor he worked on such British television series as Shadow of the Noose, Drop the Dead Donkey, Outside Edge, A Dance to the Music of Time and All Along the Watchtower. In his youth, he formed a comedy revue called The Jockeys of Norfolk with Andy Taylor and Hugh Grant, but stopped acting in the mid nineties in order to fully concentrate on his writing career.
Lang began his career as a television writer with The Bill, for which he wrote many episodes, and for which he won a Writer's Guild award. He went on to write episodes for shows including Casualty, Soldier Soldier, The Knock, POW, Primeval, Hustle and The Tunnel for Sky Atlantic. In 2001, he wrote and created his first original drama series The Glass, which starred John Thaw and Sarah Lancashire. Since then some of his other original work has included Sirens, Unconditional Love, Amnesia (which was nominated for an Edgar Award), Lawless, and The Reckoning.
In 2007, he co-formed TXTV through which he now makes much of his original drama, and through which he co-created, wrote and executive produced Innocent, a four-part thriller starring Lee Ingleby, Hermione Norris, Nigel Lindsay and Angel Coulby. which broadcast on 14-17 May 2018 to a consolidated first night audience of 8.05 million, making it the most watched new ITV drama of the year, with The Daily Express calling it - 'Spellbinding...the TV drama that has got the whole nation watching".
Lang has written many other British television series, including Undeniable starring Peter Firth and Claire Goose, (April 2014); which was remade in France in February 2017, entitled 'Quand Je Serai Grande Je Te Tuerai' starring Laetitia Milot. Filmed on the Île de Ré it broadcast in France in late 2017 to an audience of seven million. A Mother's Son starring Hermione Norris, Paul McGann and Martin Clunes (September 2012) which was nominated for a Broadcast Award, and adapted as a single film for TF1 in France called 'Tu Es Mon Fils' (April 2015) and starring Anne Marivin; 'Tu Es Mon Fils' later won best single film at the Polar de Cognac Film Festival. Lang's series Torn, starring Holly Aird and Nicola Walker, was nominated for an RTS award. and was also remade for French TV as 'Entre Deux Mères' It was shown at the Luchon Film and TV festival and broadcast on TF1 on 27 March 2017.
The first series of Unforgotten starred Nicola Walker, Trevor Eve, Sir Tom Courtenay, Cherie Lunghi, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Gemma Jones, Hannah Gordon, Ruth Sheen and Bernard Hill. and was first broadcast in Autumn 2015. Sir Tom Courtenay later won the 2016 BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for his role, and was nominated for a RTS award for his performance, while Nicola Walker was nominated at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for best actress. In November 2015, ITV announced it would be returning for a second series. Alongside Walker and Bhaskar, series two starred Mark Bonnar, Rosie Cavaliero, Lorraine Ashbourne, Adeel Akhtar, Wendy Craig, Douglas Hodge and Badria Timimi. It aired in January 2017 to an audience of 7.29 million, with the Daily Telegraph describing the series as 'The detective drama of the decade'. In November 2017 Mark Bonnar won the 2017 Best Actor BAFTA Scotland for his portrayal of Colin Osborne in the series. Bonnar also won best actor in the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2018.
In March 2017, ITV announced Unforgotten would return for a third series, to be broadcast in 2018. The third series starred Alex Jennings, Amanda Root, Kevin McNally, Siobhan Redmond, James Fleet, Sasha Behar, Neil Morrissey, Emma Fielding and Indra Ove and aired on Sunday 15 July 2018. The third series received universal critical acclaim, with The Observer asking 'How good is Unforgotten...one of our most human and human cop shows', and The Guardian remarking that 'Unforgotten is once again superb….it’s beautifully crafted and performed, tight, gripping, but also moving and so very human...there is no better drama on television.’ The last episode was watched by over 7.5 million viewers, making it the most watched episode of all three series.
On 20 September 2018 it was announced that Unforgotten would be returning for a fourth season . Lang will return as writer and executive producer. In March 2019, Alex Jennings was nominated by BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dr Tim Finch in Unforgotten series 3.
In March 2018 shooting began in Paris for Plan cœur, an eight-part romantic comedy for Netflix that Lang created and co-wrote. It aired in December 2018 and starred Zita Hanrot, Sabrina Ouazani, Joséphine Draï and Marc Ruchmann. . In February 2019 Netflix announced it would return for a second season, with shooting due to begin in March 2019. The French remake of his 2010 UK drama The Reckoning starred Odille Vuillemin and Thiery Neuvic and aired in September 2018.
In the UK, shooting began in March 2018 on a new six-part drama called Dark Heart, which Lang created, and which starred Tom Riley, Charlotte Riley, Anjili Mohindra and Miranda Raison. It broadcast in October 2018, with the 1st episode attracting an audience of 6.3 million.
In May 2019 it was announced that Innocent would be returning for a second series, with filming due to commence in 2020.
Awards and nominations
- Unforgotten. Alex Jennings nominated Best Supporting Actor BAFTA 2019
- Unforgotten. Chris Lang Nominated Best Crime Drama Writer 2017 London Screenwriters' Festival
- Unforgotten: Tom Courtenay, winner of 2016 BAFTA for best supporting actor and nominated for 2016 Royal Television Society award for Best Actor; Nicola Walker nominated for BPG award Best Actress
- Unforgotten. Nominated Best English Speaking Drama Series. C21 Awards.
- Unforgotten. Nominated Best Casting. C21 Awards.
- Unforgotten Mark Bonnar Winner of 2017 Best Actor BAFTA Scotland
- Unforgotten Mark Bonnar Winner of BPG award best actor.
- A Mother's Son: nominated Best Single Drama 'Broadcast Awards' 2013
- Torn nominated Best Serial, Royal Television Society 2008
- Amnesia: nominated Best Mini Series at the Edgars 2005
- Wing and a Prayer: nominated best drama series BAFTA Award 1998
- The Bill. Nominated for 'Best Original Drama Series' 1995 Writer's Guild of Great Britain.
- "Andy Taylor - British actor & Voice Over Artist". www.andyjt.co.uk.
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- lefigaro.fr (31 January 2017). "TF1 adapte (encore) deux miniséries étrangères". TVMag (in French). Retrieved 13 March 2017.
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- "Tu Es Mon Fils". 23 February 2015. Archived from the original on 21 April 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- "La fiction de TF1 "Tu es mon fils" récompensée au Festival du Polar de Cognac" (in French). Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- 2007 Royal Television Society Awards nominations Archived 21 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "ENTRE DEUX MERES - Festival des créations télévisuelles de Luchon - NEW". www.festivaldeluchon.tv (in French). Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
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- "Death to serial killer thrillers: why the gently subversive Unforgotten is the best detective drama of the decade". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "British Academy Scotland Awards 2017: Winners Announced". www.bafta.org. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- "ITV confirms Unforgotten will return for a third series". RadioTimes. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- ITV Press Centre http://www.itv.com/presscentre/press-releases/itv-greenlights-fourth-series-hit-drama-unforgotten. Retrieved 20 September 2018. Missing or empty
- Tartaglione, Nancy (4 December 2017). "Netflix Falls For Paris-Set Romcom; Series To Be Helmed By Noemie Saglio". Deadline. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- "ITV recommissions crime thriller Dark Heart starring Tom Riley". Press Centre. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- "BAFTA TV Awards 2016: Unforgotten's Tom Courtenay wins Best Supporting Actor". RadioTimes. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- "Broadcast Awards Shortlist 2013 revealed". www.broadcastnow.co.uk. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- "Programme Awards Winners 2008 | Royal Television Society". rts.org.uk. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- "Category List – Best TV Feature or MiniSeries | Edgars Database". theedgars.com. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- Wing and a Prayer, 22 September 1997, retrieved 10 May 2016