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Northern Indie scores deal with original Happy Valley police consultant authors.

Leeds based production company Hell Fire! is developing a high-end TV drama series based on the bestselling DI Charley Mann novels by R.C. Bridgestock. The working title is Mann.

Hell Fire! is also developing multiple new TV drama and documentary concepts based on Bob’s prolific career as a Detective with Walking the Line, R.C. Bridgestock’s TV consultancy company and Production Consultant Sarah Jarvis.

Carol and Bob Bridgestock

The DI Charley Mann novels were created by Former Senior Investigating Officer Bob Bridgestock and his wife Carol, a Senior Clerical Officer, who together have a combined 47 years of policing experience with West Yorkshire Police. Bob Bridgestock is one of the most commended officers in West Yorkshire Police, and took charge of the Birkby fires, the force’s largest major murder enquiry to date.

Carol and Bob Bridgestock, authors of the DI Charley Mann novels, on The Table Read
Carol and Bob Bridgestock

He and Carol have consulted on many crime and policing TV series including the original series of BAFTA winning Happy Valley, and BritBox original The Beast Must Die with Gaby Chiappe.

True Crime Novels

The true crime novels have been much sought-after for TV rights, and the Hell Fire! series will follow the unconventional female detective protagonist Charley Mann. Mann is an edgy and distinctive lead character who pushes the boundaries of the genre with traits typically associated with hardboiled male characters.

Dealing with straight facts and hard evidence, she was raised in a rural farmland area of Yorkshire that is full of superstition and strange folklore, some of which she still holds onto. She has a complicated relationship with men, having endured an emotionally abusive romantic relationship and a difficult history with her father. 

The series tells of how DI Mann spent much of her career climbing the ranks and fighting to earn the Detective title. Complex and seemingly stoic, she can de-compartmentalise with ease, which gives her a unique focus. But in her personal life she regularly changes her appearance, uses men for sex and hangs out in the seedy side of town which she usually polices. 

Hell Fire! L to R Nate Camponi, Andy Dorée on The Table Read
Hell Fire! L to R Nate Camponi, Andy Dorée

Hell Fire!

Hell Fire! and Walking the Line are also currently developing a true-crime docu-drama series fronted by Bob Bridgestock, examining some of his most gripping and high-profile criminal cases, using never seen before evidence and archival Police footage mixed with interviews and high-end cinematic reconstruction. The working title is Murder Box.

Andy Dorée, co-founder of Hell Fire!, said:

“The production relationship we now have with Bob,  Carol and their company, Walking the Line, is built on the close and longstanding connection we have developed with them. Charley Mann is a character with deep Northern and working-class roots – she’s not afraid to disrupt and go against the grain, and neither are we. We wanted to be the people to bring her to life and we’re really proud Bob and Carol agreed. We can’t wait to develop her and her story.”

R.C. Bridgestock Persecution on The Table Read

Nate Camponi, co-founder of Hell Fire!, added:

“What we want to avoid is a straight up ‘damaged female copper’ trope. She’s actually a lot more layered than that, maybe even a bit Christian Grey. She’s determined, dominant and promiscuous. She also shares many of the traits of Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs in terms of drive and fearlessness. She rides this line between super cop and someone on the edge. And her thought process is often aligned to criminals she’s hunting – much like Will Graham again from the Hannibal Lecter genre.”

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DI Charley Mann

Bob Bridgestock comments:

“Our fictional character Detective Inspector Charley Mann is a brew of all the policewomen who had to overcome rampant sexism in order to build their careers. This is well documented, and we have worked with some of the best of those determined, exceptional women, particularly in the North, to create this character.

To bring her to TV we knew we were looking for an exciting, off-beat, high end scripted Northern-connected TV production team, who we could entrust with our name, brand, livelihood, handwork and passion that we’ve built over a lifetime. We found exactly this working with Hell Fire!, through Walking the Line which we co-founded in 2020 with Sarah Jarvis. Our close and longstanding connection with Hell Fire! is built on that trust, and sharing the same values.”

About Hell Fire!

Hell Fire! is a scripted TV production company in Leeds and the North of England. Co-founded by acclaimed Director Nate Camponi, Writer Andrew Dorée and award winning Producer Colin Offland, Hell Fire! brings exciting, offbeat, high-end scripted Northern-connected drama and comedy to the fore.

A disruptor to the norm, HF! finds stories and ideas in the dark depths of the regions where others don’t think to look, bringing on the next generation of Northern talent both on and off the screen.

So strong are these values that HF! was nominated in the Makers & Shakers Awards 2020 for ‘Outstanding Incentives to Grow Local Industry’, a nod that underpins its determination to continue to celebrate, discover and elevate Northern regional talent, represented or un-represented grassroots writers, producers and directors to unearth the unique, groundbreaking stories hidden away in small towns and communities. It’s the Hell Fire! way.

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About R.C. Bridgestock

Former Head of CID Bob Bridgestock is now an international bestselling author, along with his wife Carol who also worked for WYP as a civilian employee.

The couple, who write under the pen name of R. C. Bridgestock has nearly half a century in combined police experience and were voted WHS Readers #8 Best Crime Authors of All Time.

One half of R.C. Bridgestock, Bob was presented with many certificates from Chief Constables and High Court judges in his police career. He remains one of the most commended officers in West Yorkshire Police. Bob took charge of the largest major murder enquiry to date in West Yorkshire, The Birkby Fire. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Denis Hoban Trophy for the Boarded Barn Murders. This crime was the focus of the R.C. Bridgestock-consulted episode of CBS’ Written In Blood of which we achieved the second highest viewings in the series.

The writing duo created the character DI Jack Dylan, a detective from Harrowfield; presently there are nine books in the Dylan series and 2020 saw the launch of their series following the feisty, Yorkshire female Detective Inspector, DI Charley Mann.

R.C. Bridgestock Condemned on The Table Read

The couple are the storyline consultants/police procedural on the original series of BAFTA winning BBC1 police drama Happy Valley, as well as other police dramas including a BritBox original Nicholas Blake book adaptation with scriptwriter Gaby Chiappe The Beast Must Die.

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About Walking the Line

Walking the Line is a TV consultancy based in West Yorkshire, primarily specialising in crime and operating as a launchpad for new, undiscovered talent and fresh ideas.

With nearly 50 years police experience between them, husband and wife team Carol & Bob Bridgestock have used their knowledge to become best-selling crime authors, under the name R.C. Bridgestock. With 12 books in two Yorkshire crime fiction series, they were voted by WHS Readers #8 Best Crime Authors of All Time.

The couple are mentors, as well as script-to-screen police procedural and storyline consultants, for the likes of the original series of BAFTA winning BBC1 police drama Happy Valley, Scott & Bailey, and the first original five part drama for BritBox original The Beast Must Die, amongst others.

The couple’s partner Sarah Jarvis founded a TV commercial production company in Manchester in 1997 which she successfully ran for over 20 years. A TV Commercial Producer by trade, Sarah runs her own Production Consultancy, C-SAJ, works as a consultant for S.Media UK, and also co-runs WTL working as an Access Producer to police, fire service, victims of crime as well as having a keen nose for seeking out new talent, and great ideas.

Due to the background of the founders, they have a wealth of resources, and professionals from which to draw upon, this new company is much in demand by production companies, authors, actors, scriptwriters etc. who are passionate about getting the facts, and tone right in their work.

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