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University graduate Lewis Arnold is director of hit BBC drama series Sherwood

The latest critically acclaimed drama series directed by award-winning University of Gloucestershire graduate Lewis Arnold is gripping TV audiences across the UK.

Broadcast by the BBC, Sherwood is inspired partly by real events set in the Nottinghamshire mining village where the writer of the series, playwright James Graham, grew up.

Lewis, who graduated from the University with a first-class honours degree in Video Production, directed an array of British acting talent on the six-part series, including David Morrissey, Joanne Froggatt, Robert Glenister, Alun Armstrong, Terence Maynard and Adeel Akhtar.

A Guardian TV critic described Sherwood as “the cleverest, most compelling and most moving thing I’ve seen in years. It should, and undoubtedly will, win awards for all concerned”.

Lewis, who has directed a string of hit drama series, said: “At the heart of Sherwood lie two shocking and unexpected killings that shatter an already fractured community and spark a massive manhunt.

“As suspicion and antipathy build – both between lifelong neighbours and towards the police forces who descend on the town – the tragic killings threaten to inflame historic divisions sparked during the miners’ strike three decades before.

“Sherwood explores for the first time the controversial deployment of so-called ‘spy cops’ around Britain, and is a distinctly human story of a community forced to re-examine the terrible events of decades ago, for which it still bears the scars.”

Actor Terence Maynard during the filming of Sherwood, directed by Lewis Arnold (photo credit: BBC and House Productions)

Before working on Sherwood, Lewis directed Jimmy McGovern’s Time starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham, which was nominated for six BAFTA awards. In 2020, Lewis directed and executive produced Des starring David Tennant that won the International Emmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor.

Lewis, who graduated from the university in 2007, regularly returns to the University’s School of Creative Industries as a guest lecturer on the BA (Hons) Film Production course.

“I love coming back into the university to teach and inspire the next wave of filmmakers alongside the brilliant existing tutors,” he said.

“It was for the students at University of Gloucestershire that I created Directors Now, which has now been downloaded by thousands of aspiring filmmakers worldwide.”

Main picture: Lewis Arnold (centre) on set during the making of Des