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Virus

A BBC Radio Full-Cast Drama
Length: 1 hr and 8 mins
Categories: Film, Radio & TV, General
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

A love story about flu.

It's January 1969, the winter after the summer of love, and Jill and David's fledgling relationship is about to be put to test by the outbreak of Hong Kong flu. As they huddle under blankets together, full of flu, neither of them is aware of how this moment will impact them in both the near and distant future.

Over five episodes, we follow Jill’s story across five decades as she struggles with the highs and lows of life, love and viral infection. At the same time the story tracks the life of Hong Kong flu - how, more than 45 years, it traversed the globe, evolved and was ultimately superseded by new, more virulent strains, such as swine flu and now COVID-19. Using cutting-edge science - of transmission, viral evolution and genetic predisposition - it tells the story of flu and investigates the unique qualities of Jill's genome which make her a 'severe responder'. The human story at the heart of this drama underlines the deep connection we have to the viruses that survive through us and how illness can shape the course of our lives.

First broadcast in 2014 under the title My Life with Flu, this programme has new resonance today in the time of coronavirus. It touches on many of the subjects that we are now all too familiar with - the ease of transmission, the way that some people react more severely than others to flu, how the body’s reaction to the flu virus creates a perfect climate in the lungs for pneumonia to develop and flu’s deadly potential. 

Cast and credits:

Narrator...Eiry Thomas 

Jill/Polly...Hannah Daniel

David...Ronan Summers

John...Liam Williams

Older Jill...Sharon Morgan

Older David...William Hope

Older John...Simon Armstrong

Doctor...John Norton

Protestor/Yvette/Paramedic 2...Eirlys Bellin

Minister/Paramedic 1/Doctor...Alun Raglan

Directed by James Robinson

Produced in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

A BBC Cymru/Wales Production

First broadcast 27-31 October 2014

©2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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