The Full Monty: Writers keen to make second series of Disney+ TV sequel to hit film set in Sheffield

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The cast, including Robert Carlyle, have also said they would be up for another series

The Full Monty writers say they want to make a second series of the TV sequel to the hit film shot in Sheffield.

Scenes for The Full Monty Disney+ TV series, starring Talitha Wing and Robert Carlyle, were shot at locations around Sheffield, including Parkwood Springs, Gleadless Valley and Meadowhall. Credit: ©Disney+Scenes for The Full Monty Disney+ TV series, starring Talitha Wing and Robert Carlyle, were shot at locations around Sheffield, including Parkwood Springs, Gleadless Valley and Meadowhall. Credit: ©Disney+
Scenes for The Full Monty Disney+ TV series, starring Talitha Wing and Robert Carlyle, were shot at locations around Sheffield, including Parkwood Springs, Gleadless Valley and Meadowhall. Credit: ©Disney+ | Disney+

Simon Beaufoy, who penned the 1997 movie, teamed up with Alice Nutter, formerly of the band Chumbawamba, to write the eight-part Disney+ television series which began streaming in June.

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The writers strike prevented them from talking to the press when the TV reboot - which was shot at locations around Sheffield, including Parkwood Springs, Gleadless Valley and Meadowhall, and brought Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy and the rest of the original cast back together - premiered in June.

But with the strike now over they've finally been able to speak to The Star about the public response to the new series, their love of Sheffield, their most controversial plot twist and whether Gaz and the gang will be back for more adventures in the Steel City.

Here's what they had to say. Warning, spoilers included.

Will there be a second series of The Full Monty TV reboot?

Alice Nutter and Simon Beaufoy, writers of The Full Monty Disney+ TV sequel, stage a picket outside the screening at the Showroom Cinema on Monday, June 5. They were not able to speak to the press at the time but have now spoken to The StarAlice Nutter and Simon Beaufoy, writers of The Full Monty Disney+ TV sequel, stage a picket outside the screening at the Showroom Cinema on Monday, June 5. They were not able to speak to the press at the time but have now spoken to The Star
Alice Nutter and Simon Beaufoy, writers of The Full Monty Disney+ TV sequel, stage a picket outside the screening at the Showroom Cinema on Monday, June 5. They were not able to speak to the press at the time but have now spoken to The Star | Sheffield Newspapers

SB: "We would be up for another series as would the cast so it's up to the mysterious powers that be at Disney+. Disney+ were really good partners and we really enjoyed working with them. They were really supportive of everything we tried to do so it would be hard to do it with anybody else."

What did you make of the reaction to the TV series?

AN: "I don't read the reviews in the papers but I look at Twitter on a regular basis and the feedback I saw erred on the side of popular, with a lot of people being surprised by how much they were moved by the series.

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"Some people were upset that it wasn't a copy of the film but there would have been no point in us doing that."

Why did you kill off such a beloved character?

Horse (Paul Barber) in The Full Monty Disney+ TV series, which was filmed in SheffieldHorse (Paul Barber) in The Full Monty Disney+ TV series, which was filmed in Sheffield
Horse (Paul Barber) in The Full Monty Disney+ TV series, which was filmed in Sheffield | Disney+

SB: "We were dealing with so many issues connected with austerity and we really needed something that would hit home for the end of the series.

"Horse (played by Paul Barber), of all the characters, is probably the most vulnerable.

"We desperately didn't want to kill off one of the most loveable characters but we felt that he was the one who would have been damaged most by the cuts that have happened over the last 13 years."

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Have things got even worse since you wrote the TV series?

The Full Monty TV series is more overtly political than the film which came before. While the movie dealt with the fall-out from Thatcherism, the television sequel is set amid the wreckage wrought by 13 years of austerity.

The TV series sees Jean (Lesley Sharp) running a school which is falling apart at the seams, Horse becomes the victim of swingeing cuts to the welfare system and Gaz (Robert Carlyle) experiences the pressures facing a desperately underfunded NHS.

Since it premiered, the RAAC concrete scandal affecting schools and hospitals across the country has broken, and the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has said welfare claimants who turn down work offered to them may lose benefits. So are things getting worse?

SB: "Horse says at one stage 'I never thought I would say this but this is worse than Thatcher'. The film came out as an epigraph to Thatcher's economics but I think things have got worse.

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"It's got more atomised and fragmented. There isn't even a dole queue today. It's just people at home in their bedrooms logging on. There's a sense of loneliness and lack of community that's worse."

AN: "You're back to that Victorian ethos of blaming the poor, and the media have colluded in it with all that 'benefit cheats, they don't work, blah, blah, blah', as if people are responsible for their own downfall and if you work hard enough you can live the dream.

"That's not true. So many people have three jobs and still aren't making ends meet.

"But we didn't want to make the TV series too grim. There's a lot of working class TV which is all about the grimness of what's happening to people.

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"For us we wanted there to be a sense of hope because we still have each other. There is an alternative to this but we have to work differently."

SB: "We wanted to indict the policies but not the people suffering as a result. And we wanted to do so in a way that people would actually want to watch, so it's not just having grimness reflected back at you, there's a lightness of touch and some humour. After all, why would you want to come in from a day's work and watch more suffering?"

What do you both make of Sheffield?

SB: "It's a great city. I spent a lot of time here in the years before I wrote the film. I was doing a lot of climbing at the time and then my girlfriend had an accident and ended up in hospital.

"I didn't know a lot of people in Sheffield back then and I was really worried that she was going to be paralysed so it was a very tough time.

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"But I just remember what a friendly city it was, and still is, and how kind people are. When you get on a bus everyone just starts chatting to you in a way I'd never come across before. I just fell in love with the city.

"It's also a fantastically cinematic place with its hills and valleys, and there's some great architecture."

AN: "I love the way Sheffield's a proud fighter, which dares to call itself the People's Republic of South Yorkshire. And I love the fact it's big enough to feel you can breathe but small enough to really get to know people.

"It's also a very active city, where you have groups like Acorn stopping people from being evicted, and it's a very creative place, plus you've got some pretty good food, which is a bonus."

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Mental health is a big theme in the series. Is this something that's particularly important to you?

SB: Every election cycle promises are made about investment, but care in the community and mental health are always the first of those commitments to go because they're easiest to discard."

AN: "Not funding mental health services and care in the community properly has such big repercussions. It costs us more as a society not to look after people properly and offer them alternatives that can make them better."

What do you think will happen next in politics?

SB: "I'd love to see a vision which isn't just 'steady as she goes', with a little tweak here or there, which appears to be the current policy, because at the moment it's steady as she goes downhill.

"It's very hard to inspire people by saying we're not going to do anything radical, because it's absolutely apparent that the one thing we need is radical change.

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"Whatever system we've been working with for the last 13 years has utterly failed. It's evident as soon as you walk out of your front door that it's failed."

AN: "Labour's big policy is to return to PFI (Private Finance Initiative), which has been discredited. The Full Monty TV series shows the failure of putting profit before people's lives.

"By saying PFI is their flagship idea, Labour are trying to please media moguls and shareholders. They're not trying to change people's lives.

"I've knocked on doors a lot for Labour over the past few years but I can't in good conscience knock on doors for Keir Starmer."

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Do you plan to continue writing together?

SM: "Yes, we complement each other really well. Writing's a very lonely job so when you find someone you can work with, who sits in your head in the same place so you don't have to explain everything, that's a real blessing.

"I'm the softy, and Alice keeps having to go 'oi'."

AN: "Simon's so much better than me at looking for the hope.

"It's been an absolute pleasure of my writing life to meet Simon and get to work with him and learn from him."

The Full Monty TV series is available to stream on Disney+

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