ITV Commissions Secret Service from Tom Bradby


ITV has commissioned the espionage drama Secret Service, based on ITV News anchor Tom Bradby’s novel of the same name.

The five-part adaptation, penned by Bradby and Jemma Kennedy (Captain Webb), follows a seemingly ordinary woman, who is happily married with kids and a supposed job in the civil service. Her real job, however, is heading up the Russia Desk of MI6, and when her undercover operations reveal evidence that a senior U.K. politician might be a high-level Russian asset, she must race against time to uncover their identity.

After a young woman is brutally murdered, she and her team are thrust into the spotlight, and she must try to uphold her reputation and keep her family together while scrambling to discover the spy’s identity before a looming election.

Bradby’s novel is deeply rooted in today’s political landscape, delving into the long-standing tensions between Russia and the U.K.

Secret Service is being produced by Potboiler Productions in association with All3Media International, which will handle international distribution. Filming is set to begin in London and Malta early next year. The series will eventually premiere on ITV1 and be available for streaming on ITVX.

Gail Egan (Funny Woman, A Most Wanted Man, The Little Stranger) and Andrea Calderwood (Funny Woman, The Buccaneers, The Boy who Harnessed the Wind) will be executive producing for Potboiler Productions. Helen Ziegler, senior drama commissioner at ITV, will oversee production on behalf of the broadcaster.

“We are delighted to be working with Tom, Jemma and the team at Potboiler to bring this story of a new cold war to our screens,” Ziegler said. “Tom and Jemma’s thrilling scripts could not be more timely in their exploration of this complex cat-and-mouse game between East and West.”

“I always dreamed of turning Secret Service into a compelling and enthralling TV series, so I am completely thrilled that ITV have commissioned this series and can’t wait to be on set in London and Malta,” Bradby commented. “I felt the themes were achingly topical when I wrote the novel—and they have only become more so since.”

Potboiler’s Egan and Calderwood added, “It is very exciting to be working with Polly and Helen at ITV on this thrilling story of espionage and politics. Tom and Jemma have created a bold and compelling drama that looks behind the curtain at the real world of modern-day spies and the machinations happening in the corridors of power which affect us all.”