Reg (BBC drama)

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Written by Jimmy McGovern
Robert Pugh
Directed by David Blair
Starring Tim Roth
Allan Gildea
Gerard Crossan
Music by Ed Shearmur
Country of origin England
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Colin McKeown
Donna Molloy
Cinematography Ed Rutherford
Editor(s) Patrick Hall
Running time 90 minutes
Production company(s) LA Productions
Distributor British Broadcasting Corporation
Original release
  • 6 June 2016 (2016-06-06)
External links

Reg is a one-off BBC Television fact-based drama about the campaign by Reg Keys to obtain answers after the death of his son Tom in the Iraq War, by standing in the 2005 General Election as an anti-war independent candidate for MP of Sedgefield, a constituency held by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair.[1]


Keys was portrayed by Academy Award-nominated actor Tim Roth and the programme was scripted by Jimmy McGovern.[1][2] Talking on BBC radio programme Front Row in June 2016 about creating the drama, McGovern said: "I first thought about it over 8 years ago and I went down to see Reg and I tried to start it, but for some reason I just couldn't seem to start it. But it was always at the back of my mind: 'I know I've got to tell this man's story'".[3] Of his main protagonist, McGovern has said "It was an honour to meet Reg Keys. He is a truly remarkable man, and it has been a privilege to tell this part of his story."[2]


The cast of Reg included:[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organization Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2017 45th International Emmy Awards Best TV Movie/miniseries N/A Pending [5]

Critical reception[edit]

In The Daily Telegraph Jasper Rees found Reg to be "a meticulous autopsy of a vast insult to the British body politic", noting "McGovern knows where to find the drama in stories of private grief battling institutional indifference" and adding "This was a quiet portrait of simmering rage, sometimes a bit too quiet. […] The Keys' Brummie [sic][6] stoicism was the cause of much understated acting – Roth was doggedly undemonstrative, Maxwell Martin temperate and reserved."[7]

Writing in The Guardian, Lucy Mangan began by saying "I don't know where Jimmy McGovern gets the emotional energy or resilience from, I really don't" before judging that "There wasn't a weak moment in the film". Mangan found Anna Maxwell Martin "as quietly stellar as always" and that "Roth was extraordinary as a man scoured out by grief and left with only a single purpose to pursue. Implacable, purged of all need or desire for lesser considerations or emotions by his loss, he gave us a man and a performance boiled down to its very essence. There is nothing more honestly, nakedly powerful or moving. Thank you."[8]


  1. ^ a b "Reg". Reg. 6 June 2016. BBC Television. BBC One. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b Sweney, Mark (9 September 2015). "Tim Roth to take lead role in BBC anti-war drama". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  3. ^ Presenter: John Wilson Producer: Angie Nehring (3 June 2016). "Front Row: Jimmy McGovern, James Schamus, Alexi Kaye Campbell". Front Row. 02:37 minutes in. BBC Radio 4.
  4. ^ "BBC One: Reg". BBC Online. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  5. ^ 2017 International Emmy® Awards Nominees
  6. ^ "Brummie" is a demonym for Birmingham; Keys was not from Birmingham
  7. ^ Rees, Jasper (6 June 2016). "Reg: Jimmy McGovern's drama is a meticulous autopsy of an insult to the British public: review". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  8. ^ Mangan, Lucy (7 June 2016). "Reg review – an extraordinary portrait of the man who took on Tony Blair". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 June 2016.

External links[edit]