Christopher Eccleston discusses his role in Channel 4’s Close To Me

Back in September 2020 we revealed news that the psychological suspense drama, Close To Me, starring Christopher Eccleston, Connie Nielsen, Susan Lynch and Leanne Best will air in the autumn. Now Christopher Eccleston reveals why his role in Channel 4’s Close To Me is an unexpected “reversal”

Christopher Eccleston talks on the “refreshing” on-screen gender dynamics in Close To Me.

On the show’s appeal, Eccleston said: “This show had a lovely reversal of the usual, far too familiar, sensitive, caring female taking a supportive role to a male as they wrestle with existential dilemmas. This was very refreshing.”

The drama follows Jo (Wonder Woman 1984 star Connie Nielsen), a middle-aged woman who suffers a head injury, before waking up in hospital with no memory of the past year. At her side is her husband, Rob (Eccleston), who seeks to shield his wife by keeping secrets about some of the events that she can’t yet remember.

Speaking about his character, Eccleston described Rob as “an estate agent in late middle age who has been married to Jo for a considerable amount of time. He realises that his role is to try and aid his life partner in a physical and emotional recovery, but also support her going through menopause”.

He continued: “Jo is having identity issues which are, according to my female friends, very common in late middle age, where you wake up thinking: who am I? The way they are treated in society shifts. Rob’s business is also in trouble and there’s a sense of emasculation, because a lot of the money has come from her side of things. He’s certainly not in the throes of youth and idealism.”

In addition to the upcoming thriller, Eccleston is officially returning to voice the Ninth Doctor for another series of Big Finish audio adventures.

Close to Me is the 6 x 60’ story of Jo Harding (Connie Nielsen), a woman who seems to have it all – a beautiful house in the country, a loving family and Rob, her devoted husband (Christopher Eccleston). But following a fall, an entire year suddenly vanishes from Jo’s memory. As she struggles to piece events together, Jo discovers that her life wasn’t quite as perfect as she imagined – and that someone will do all they can to keep a terrible secret from her. Close to Me is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by author Amanda Reynolds. 


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Their children, Finn and Sash, are played by Tom Taylor (Us, Doctor Foster) and Rosy McEwen (The Letter Writer, The Angel of Darkness). Jo’s best friend Cathy is played by Susan Lynch (Save Me, Unforgotten), while Leanne Best (Young Wallander, Cold Feet) stars as Rob’s co-worker Anna. High-profile Danish actor Henning Jensen (When the Dust Settles, Countdown Copenhagen) features as Jo’s father Frederik, while Ellie Haddington (Enola Holmes, Motherland) plays her neighbour Wendy. Ray Fearon (Da Vinci’s Demons, His Dark Materials) plays Jo’s boss Nick and Nick Blood (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Strike) stars as Sash’s boyfriend Thomas. Jamie Flatters (Liar, So Awkward) plays Owen and Lorraine Burroughs (Hard Sun, The Five) stars as Helen.  

Close To Me is produced by NENT Studios UK for Channel 4 and has been acquired by Channel 4’s Head of Acquisitions, Nick Lee, Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick and overseen by Commissioning Editor, Gwawr Lloyd. Angela Pell (Snow Cake, Gifted) wrote the screenplay, Michael Samuels (The Windermere Children, Any Human Heart) directs, Alison Sterling (The Windermere Children, Turning) produces, while Gina Carter (Yardie, In the Long Run, Kingdom) is the executive producer, alongside Robert Taylor and Ed Clarke of The Development Partnership, Dave Clarke from NENT Studios UK and Connie Nielsen.  

Close to Me filmed during 2020 in London, Hertfordshire and East Sussex. It is distributed globally by All3Media International. 

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