AMC, Ben Whishaw Board BBC Two’s This Is Going to Hurt


Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal, Skyfall, London Spy) is set to star in the new series This Is Going to Hurt, based on Adam Kay’s best-selling memoir of the same name.

Whishaw will play the screen version of Adam in the series, which has been adapted by Kay himself. The project is produced by Sister (Giri/Haji, Chernobyl, Gangs of London) in association with Terrible Productions, and AMC is on board as co-producer.

Director Lucy Forbes (In My Skin, The End of the Fucking World season two) is confirmed as the series lead director. The international distribution will be handled by BBC Studios.

Kay’s diaries—scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends—tell the unvarnished truth of life as a doctor working in obstetrics and gynecology. Whishaw is set to play the fictional version of Adam, who we find wending his way through the ranks of hospital hierarchy: junior enough to suffer the crippling hours, but senior enough to face a constant barrage of terrifying responsibilities.

Whishaw said: “I am proud to join this exciting adaptation of Adam Kay’s terrific book This Is Going to Hurt based on his experiences working in the NHS. It’s an honest, hilarious, heartbreaking look at the great institution and the army of unsung heroes who work there under the most stressful conditions. The COVID-19 crisis has now shed even more light on their great work and underlines the necessity to support the NHS and its workers. I look forward to telling this story with director Lucy Forbes and the great team at Sister to bring Adam’s words to life and I am really grateful to be a part of it.”

Forbes added: “This hilarious and heartbreaking view of the NHS, that we have so long taken for granted, feels more relevant than ever – and what better person to play Adam than the wonderful Whishaw! So looking forward to working with Ben, and the Sister team to bring Adam Kay’s painfully funny book to life.”

Kay commented: “Ben is quite simply one of the finest actors our country has ever produced and a bona fide national treasure. There’s simply no one who could do a better job of playing (a much more handsome version of) me. Best still, I now have an answer to the standard dinner party question: ‘Who would play you in the story of your life?’”

Naomi de Pear, executive producer at Sister, said: “We couldn’t be more excited to be working with the magical combination of the huge talents that are Ben Whishaw and Lucy Forbes. Who better to bring to life the tragedy, comedy and complexity of both Dr. Adam Kay and the beautiful beast that is our NHS.”

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, added: “Not just anyone could evoke the waspish wit, the pathos or the brilliant bloody-mindedness of TIGTH’s Adam. But thankfully we didn’t just need anyone—we just needed Ben and it’s a testament to the quality of Adam’s scripts and the expertise of the team at Sister that Ben has agreed to come on board.”

Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC and co-president of AMC Studios, commented: “As we continue to search for unique voices and uncover authentic and rarely seen worlds, we’re proud to once again partner with the remarkable creative team at Sister on this timely series focusing a lens on the societal and cultural issues surrounding the healthcare system. Adam has provided insightful source material with This Is Going to Hurt, laying a foundation for a topical, darkly comedic and breathtakingly poignant series, and we’re thrilled to welcome established talent both in front of and behind the camera with Ben Whishaw and Lucy Forbes on board.”