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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 13:10 GMT
Female Heathcliff for modern Heights
The Brontes' house in Haworth
The Brontes' house in Haworth still attracts visitors
A new BBC production of Emily Bronte's classic novel Wuthering Heights will cast a young woman as Heathcliff - the brooding hero famously played by Laurence Olivier in the 1939 film classic.

In the modern-day version Heathcliff will be a young working class woman called Carol Bolton, who is in love with her middle class neighbour Andrew.

The three-part TV drama is to be titled Sparkhouse and filmed in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, northern England - not far from Haworth, where Emily Bronte grew up.

Hebden Bridge
The new series will be set in Hebden Bridge
The series will be made by Red Productions for the BBC and has been written by Sally Wainwright, the creator of ITV1's TV comedy At Home with the Braithwaites.

Wainwright is also the writer of ITV1's Bad Girls.

The new adaptation mirrors the class focus of the original plot but adds some new twists.

The class relationship between Bronte's uncultured Heathcliff and the upper class Cathy has been reversed.


And it is middle-class Andrew's parents who want him to leave Cathy and go to university.

The evergreen romance has inspired many TV and film adaptations, including Robert Fuest's 1970 film starring Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff and Anna Calder-Marshall as Cathy.

In 1992 Pewter Kosminsky revisited the story with Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes in the lead roles.

Red Productions has made a number of highly-rated dramas set in the north of England, such as Channel 4's Queer as Folk, ITV1's Bob and Rose, as well as Clocking Off and Linda Green for BBC1.

See also:

05 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Olivier archive saved for nation
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