How does celebrated actor Idris Elba end up working with a lawyer from Brent Council? The answer is Guerrilla – a six-part drama about the struggle of black activists in the 1970s.
The series is influenced by a book written by Brent lawyer Paul Field.
So what is Guerrilla about?
“Guerrilla is a fictional story about the struggle of black power activists against a secretive unit within a special branch called the black power desk,” says Paul. “My writing partner, Robin Bunce, and I discovered the existence of this black power desk in 2010 through several freedom of information act requests
“After our book, Renegade: The Life and Times of Darcus Howe, was published, we were contacted by a TV production company. They told us that John Ridley, who had recently won an Oscar for Twelve Years a Slave, was interested in our research. John wanted to meet us so he could write a drama on the subject.”
Following that meeting Paul and Robin became historical advisers on Guerrilla. “Our main role was to offer detailed comments on the historical context and accuracy of the scripts,” continues Paul. “It was a fascinating experience and a great pleasure to work with the team.”
Paul also makes a cameo in the series along with his wife and daughter.
“I played a journalist with a big 1970’s moustache and my wife Maggie plays one of the activists at a press conference. My daughter is an extra in a Brixton Market scene – she’s just 11 and loved the whole experience.
“Idris Elba is very personable, too, down to earth and funny. He went around saying hello to all the production crew and extras. He is a genuinely nice guy,” concludes Paul.
Guerrilla airs on Sky Atlantic with all episodes available through Sky on demand.