AN AUTHOR is to get a cameo role in a new TV drama based on her latest book about the strength of women in wartime.
In Jambusters, Julie Summers, from Iffley, Oxford, focuses on women in rural communities in the Second World War, describing it as the Women’s Institute’s finest hour.
The book was first published last year and ITV has now announced a six-part drama series about WI members during the war.
Given the working title Jambusters, the drama will centre around a group of women in an isolated Cheshire village.
The series, inspired by the book, is yet to be cast and will begin shooting in September, before it is broadcast next year.
Mum-of-three Miss Summers said: “I’m delighted that there is going to be a TV series.
“It will be a portrait of village life and women who were a tremendous backbone of the community.
“The writer, Simon Block, has got an accurate flavour of the period and my role has been to help him to get that detail.
“I have been told I will get a cameo role as a WI member, which could be shown in the title sequence. There are 18 roles in the drama, 11 or 12 for women, and some well-known actresses are being approached.”
Mr Block’s credits include Oxfod-based Lewis, The Shooting Of Thomas Hurndall, and Hotel Babylon.
ITV said in a statement: “With the shadow of World War Two casting a dark cloud, Jambusters follows a group of inspirational women in a rural Cheshire community.
“As the conflict takes hold, and separates the women from husbands, fathers, sons and brothers, the characters find themselves under increasing and extraordinary pressures in a rapidly fragmenting world.’’ Miss Summers, 53, lives with husband Chris Steele, 54, and they have three sons, Simon, 23, Richard, 21, and Sandy, 16.
She said her book Jambusters had sold about 10,000 copies in hardback, with the paperback also selling well.
Executive producer Francis Hopkinson said the series would take a fresh look at life on the Home Front and offer “some wonderful roles for Britain’s top actresses”.
ITV director of drama Steve November said: “The women are real and engaging and have fantastic spirit and attitude.
“With World War Two on the horizon, multiple strands of plot interweave to create a period drama full of jeopardy and intrigue, but also great humanity and modernity.’’ During the Second World War women in the WI completed a major report on evacuation and influenced Government policy on health, education and housing.
They also ran troop canteens and cooked for farmworkers.
5:10pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A 15-YEAR-OLD girl was raped in Barns Road, Cowley on her way to the bus stop. According to Thames Valley Police the girl was walking to the stop before Blackbird Leys bridge between 2pm and 4pm on Sunday, September 20. She was approached by a man who walked alongside her. As they came to the bridge he grabbed her arm and pulled her down to a muddy track at the side of the bridge. He then raped the victim and left her on the track, walking away. The offender is described as white, aged in his late teens, 5ft 7ins or 5ft 8ins tall and slim. He had very short dark hair, blue eyes, freckles on his face and a short ginger beard, and was wearing a chain around his neck, black trainers and dark grey Nike jogging bottoms. The girl reported the rape to police on Tuesday ((06/10)) this week. Investigating officer Det Insp Steve Raffield of Banbury CID said: “Specialist officers are supporting the victim who has reported this rape to us. "What happened to this young girl is unimaginable and I am sure that members of the public will be shocked to hear about this incident, which happened in broad daylight. "“A full investigation is now under way and there are officers in the area today making enquiries and providing reassurance to members of the public who may have concerns. “Incidents like this are extremely rare, but it is essential that we identify the offender as soon as possible. I would urge anyone who has any information about this incident, or who saw or heard anything out of the ordinary in the Barns Road area around the time of the offence, to contact me as soon as possible by calling 101.”
5:00pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A boy has been taken to hospital after being involved in a crash in Bicester.
6:36pm Thursday 8th October 2015
CCTV footage from an Oxford travellers’ site has shown a man who was allegedly kept as a slave being pushed around and treated “like a ragdoll”.
4:50pm Thursday 8th October 2015
AN E-FIT of a man who ran away after being caught holding a little girl's hand in Greater Leys has been released by Thames Valley Police. According to officers, a two-year-old girl was playing outside a property in Shepherds Hill at about 6.20pm on Friday, September 11. When her mother came to check on her she saw a man holding the girl's hand. When she challenged the man, he ran away. He is described as white, in his thirties, about 5ft 7ins or 5ft 8ins with short spiky blond or brown hair. He was wearing a knee-length jacket that may have been leather. Investigating officer Det Con Lorna Briggs of Force CID in Oxford said: “We are keeping an open mind regarding this incident. There might be a innocent explanation as to why the man was holding the girl’s hand. “If anyone recognises the man in the E-fit or has any information about the incident then please contact your local police station."
4:50pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A BEGGAR has been banned by police from approaching people in Oxford and asking them for money, food or cigarettes.
7:50am Thursday 8th October 2015
MISSING teen Michaela Rose from Chipping Norton was found safe and well last night.