BBC One’s chilling new drama, Three Girls, has gripped the nation for its harrowing portrayal of real life events. Viewers have been reduced to tears as the three-part programme reflects on Rochdale’s shocking paedophile ring, with vulnerable victims as young as 13 being exploited and abused. The hard-hitting watch, which was made with full approval and co-operation of the victims involved in the case, stars the hugely talented Lesley Sharp, Maxine Peake, Jill Halfpenny and Lisa Riley – who on Thursday’s Loose Women, got emotional as she discussed playing the role of Lorna Bowen– a mother of two of the victims.
Lisa in character on Three Girls as Lorna Bowen
Opening up about her role, she told the panel: “It’s important that we got a reaction. That’s the main thing.” Filming it late last year over two months, Lisa got to know the victims of the case, and was keen to tell their story. “It cocooned my life. And I got angry,” she said. “The BBC took a chance – it could have gone one or two ways. The story was so true…I am so honoured to have been able to play the part of Lorna and give these girls a voice, because no one believed them. No one.” Asked by Nadia Sawalha how she was feeling, Lisa replied defiantly: “It’s not about me, it’s about the girls.”
Former detective Maggie Oliver, dubbed the Rochdale hero, having helped bring justice for the victims, also appeared on the show to discuss her harrowing real life experience.
Lisa on the set of Three Girls with co-star Lesley Sharp
Over on Twitter, fans, including Scarlett Moffatt, have been praising the important issues raised in the drama. “Vulnerable girls not being heard!! This is both angering & so upsetting. I can't stop crying watching this such a strong girl! #ThreeGirls,” she wrote. Meanwhile, Lucy Fallon, who is currently portraying Bethany Platt in Coronation Street’s dark grooming storyline, wrote: “Incredible performances from the cast of #ThreeGirls I feel so passionately about this issue and I'm so happy that we are creating awareness.”
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In the drama, Three Girls focuses on the lives of three of the victims: Holly, who recently moved to the area, and quickly makes friends with two street-wise sisters, Amber and Ruby. From there, she steps into a dark new world that she can’t escape. The series focuses on how the abuse has impacted the lives of the victims and their families, and how they had to fight to be heard and believed by the local authorities.