Blood scandal inspires TV drama
Written by Jessica Bomford, March 1, 2022
A Midlands actor whose brother was infected as a result of the contaminated blood
scandal is writing a TV drama to raise public awareness about the tragedy.
Seb Carrington’s brother James was infected with hepatitis C as a child through
treatment for his mild haemophilia B, although his parents did not discover this until
James was 16. Two years later, James died in a car accident and Seb, who was only
eight, was shielded from much of the detail of the contaminated blood scandal.
Seb, who also has haemophilia B, is an award-nominated West-End theatre actor who has worked with Christopher Nolan on his latest film TENET and has played Alan Bennett on Netflix’s The Crown, as well as acting opposite Mark Williams in BBC1’s Father Brown and Keeley Hawes in Stephen Poliakoff’s Summer of Rockets.
Seb said: ‘My haemophilia was the reason I pursued music and arts, as I couldn’t do many sports growing up. But my haemophilia wasn’t severe enough to affect my
daily life. It was only when the lockdown hit that I began reflecting on my brother and
my haemophilia B in the wider community.’
Seb quickly realised that despite the inquiry making the headlines in recent years,
many of his friends had no idea about the scandal and the suffering it caused.
If I, as a haemophiliac whose brother was affected by this scandal, had no idea of the extent of this, how could anybody else? People simply have to know.
Inspired by a number of television dramas which have tackled difficult subjects, such
as Channel 4’s ‘It’s a Sin’ which looks at the emergence of HIV in the UK, as well as the socially critical works of Ken Loach who is also from his hometown Nuneaton, Seb has
written a TV pilot about the unfolding contaminated blood tragedy in
the 1980s. He is now hoping his screenplay will be picked up by a producer or television network to help develop this further.
‘I’m in early stages of development and want to find the right partners to bring the story to life. For an emotionally fraught story such as this, audiences need central
characters who provide an emotional anchor. In continuing with my research, I would be so grateful to any Treloar’s students who would be comfortable in sharing their stories with me.’
Ensuring that more people understand what happened is Seb’s first priority, and he
believes his screenplay will bring home the devastating impact this frightening period
had on the haemophilia community.
Seb said: ‘Public trust in medicine and government policy has been thrust into the
limelight again over the past two years. Disinformation is now a currency of politics and media, and the only antidote is to tell the truth as loudly as possible.’
If you’d like to help develop this drama or want to share your experience of the contaminated blood scandal, contact [email protected] and we’ll pass on your details to Seb.