Deadwater Fell writer on IVF struggle that inspired emotional storyline

Jess (Cush Jumbo, right) is undergoing IVF (Picture: Channel 4)

Writer Daisy Coulam drew on her own experiences with IVF for a storyline in Deadwater Fell.

Coulam and her husband have so far undergone two rounds of IVF in order to have a baby.

She worked it into a side plot involving characters Steve (Matthew McNulty) and his partner Jess (Cush Jumbo) in her chilling new drama.

Speaking to press at the launch, Coulam explained she felt IVF is something that isn’t shown on TV much.

‘Lots of people do it, that’s what people don’t realise, and I think for lots of people it doesn’t work, so I wanted to do a story that made it normal,’ she said.

‘You kind of feel quite isolated in that situation. It becomes sort of part of your life, you do inject every day and you do…I really wanted that scene.’

Opening up about her own struggles with fertility, she said: ‘Probably not very long before I started writing the script, we did our second round of IVF, which didn’t work.

‘So I think I was desperate in a way to get it in something, and it kind of felt like it fitted in here because it’s about the pressures to be [perfect].’

Tom Kendrick and Kate Kendrick also star (Picture: Channel 4)

The Grantchester writer also wanted the show to address how social media can make people feel inadequate.

She said: ‘You click on Facebook and you’re like, “F**k off with all your babies and your perfect life”, and everyone is striving to have this sort of perfect life, and what happens if you can’t have that?’

Star McNulty said of the storyline: ‘It’s something that brings Steve and Jess closer but at the same time later on it’s something that pulls them apart a little bit.

‘It’s another one of the pressures they have in their relationship.’

The harrowing storyline centres around a horrific tragedy when a family dies in a fire that may not have been an accident.

On set every effort was made to make sure the young actors playing the child victims were not exposed to anything disturbing.

‘We didn’t want to put the children through anything’ Daisy said.

‘They had a psychiatrist on set, they understood what was happening. So for lots of it they’re not there. Even when somebody swears they’re not on set. Also we didn’t want to be graphic about it.’

Deadwater Fell airs 10 January at 9pm on Channel 4.

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