Tommy Cooper portrayed as 'wife-beating alcoholic' in new drama – Daily TV round-up

Shameless star David Threlfall shown punching on-screen wife.

Tommy Cooper is portrayed as a 'wife-beating alcoholic' in a new drama set to air on ITV.

The two-hour TV movie, called 'Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This', stars Shameless actor David Threlfall as the legendary funnyman.

It tells the story of Cooper's long-standing affair with his assistant Mary Kay, conducted behind wife Gwen's back.

But the comedian's dark side is also shown, including his problems with alcohol and instances of domestic abuse.

Threlfall... playing Tommoy Cooper in the ITV drama (Copyright: ITV)

In one scene, Cooper punches wife Gwen, played by Amanda Redman, in the street.

Scriptwriter Simon Nye, who has adapted the screenplay from a 2006 biography by Cooper's friend John Fisher, said that he included the controversial scenes after speaking with Kay's family.

“I went to see Mary before she died and she and her son were very sweet,” Nye told the Daily Mirror.

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“Her son took me to one side and told me she was bruised. It’s on record, it’s not something we invented.

“She put up with a lot. Tommy was physical with his wife and she gave as good she got.

“He did try to replicate that with Mary but she was not the same person and it looked worse than it was.

“Drink was a huge influence. The quantities were enormous by all accounts.”

Nye, who also wrote TV comedy 'Men Behaving Badly', did not speak to Cooper's remaining family, however, and said he had 'reservations' about writing in the scenes.

“His daughter was quite elusive. She does not want to see her parents being trashed on screen,” he said. “You do worry.”

The drama is broadcast on Easter Monday on ITV. [Daily Mirror]

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