Common, written by Jimmy McGovern and directed by David Blair, has won an RTS North award and a Broadcast Award and is nominated for a BAFTA Best Single Drama. The drama centres on the UK's controversial Joint Enterprise Law which, campaigners say, can lead to innocent people being jailed.
It stars Nico Mirallegro (The Village), Daniel Mays (Mrs Biggs) and Jodhi May (Ice Cream Girls). The film is produced by LA Productions for the BBC and directed by David Blair (The Street, Accused).
Joint Enterprise Law allows several people to be charged with a crime where they are not the primary offenders. It has been increasingly used in the last ten years to tackle crimes, often murder, which are deemed to be gang-related.
Jimmy McGovern said "Joint Enterprise was first used in Britain's courts a few hundred years ago. It was designed to stop the aristocracy duelling. If one duelist killed another then all involved in that duel (the seconds and the surgeons) were charged with murder. It worked. Britain's aristocrats stopped duelling. Now the law is being used against Britain's youth. If someone dies in a fight and you're involved in any way whatsoever, you could find yourself charged with murder. And, if you do, Heaven help you because the burden of proof required in joint enterprise cases is frighteningly low."
Nico Mirallegro plays a 17-year-old called Johnjo who gives his friends a lift to what he thinks is a trip out for pizza. In fact they plan a violent confrontation that ends in death. Under the law of joint enterprise, Johnjo is charged along with the gang.
Daniel Mays and Susan Lynch (Monroe) play the victim's parents, with Jodhi May and Andrew Tiernan (Prisoners' Wives) as Johnjo's parents. The supporting cast includes Michelle Farley (Game Of Thrones), Jack McMullen (Waterloo Road) and, as a court judge, Michael Gambon.
McGovern added: "When it comes to casting you always have a 'wish list' - a list of actors who'd be perfect for the parts you have written. You never get them of course. They're often too busy or away on holiday or they hate the script or whatever. But on this occasion, I got them all, every single one on my wish list. And I am over the moon."
Jimmy McGovern's Common airs Sunday 6th July on BBC1 at 9pm.