Home Entertainment Jude Bellingham Bicycle-Kick Goal To Be Part of ‘Dear England’ TV Series

Jude Bellingham Bicycle-Kick Goal To Be Part of ‘Dear England’ TV Series


EXCLUSIVE: James Graham, the TV dramatist and playwright, has revealed that the BBC adaptation of his acclaimed soccer play Dear England will feature Jude Bellingham’s breathtaking bicycle-kick goal that spared the Three Lions the ignominy of defeat against Slovakia in the European Football Championships over the weekend.

Bellingham’s incredible equalizer was struck with just 86 seconds of stoppage time remaining in the round-of-16 knockout stage, ensuring 30 minutes of extra time to complete the game.

Graham (Sherwood, Quiz, Coalition) told us that it “feels likely and necessary to feature Jude, and his incredible balletic moment of pure theatre.”  

Jude Bellingham’s bicycle-kick goal against Slovakia at Euro 2024 on Sunday

Jürgen Fromme – firo sportphoto/Getty Images

After Bellingham’s coup de match at the AufSchalke arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on Sunday, captain Harry Kane scored in extra time giving England a 2-1 win, allowing them to advance to the Euro 2024 quarterfinals where they play Switzerland on July 6, and providing momentary relief from critics back in Blighty.  

It was a moment of pure magic, and as Kane declared about Bellingham’s magnificent shot, “That was one of the best goals in [the history] of our country.”

The team would’ve been on a plane back home if not for that golden goal.

Even football followers in the U.S. were elated.

The Dear England play that premiered at London’s National Theatre a year ago follows the England men’s football team under manager Gareth Southgate’s revolutionary tenure, which saw the ebb and flow of success and failure at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the 2020 Euros and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Joseph Fiennes portrayed Southgate on stage and will reprise the role in the Dear England TV show.

The plan for the BBC TV- and Left Bank Pictures-backed series is to expand and open up the story to include dramatization of aspects of the current 2024 Euros.

RELATED: ‘Dear England’: James Graham Ponders Which Former England Soccer Stars Could Feature In His BBC TV Version

Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane.

(L-R) Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane on Sunday

Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images.

The length of the TV version will depend on the Three Lions’ success against the Swiss in Düsseldorf on Saturday and whether or not they’re lucky enough to advance to the semifinals in Dortmund on July 10 and — this could be a stretch too far —  the final at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on July 14.

Graham wants them to win.

However, in a recent interview in Breaking Baz, he admitted that “as a playwright it’s a better story where we lose.”

That may sound treacherous, “but the play’s a story about how to learn to lose, how we have to accept that we are going to lose quite often and regularly as a country and how we find strength in that. … But I’ll accept it if we win.”

The Dear England show will likely include the now famous “Who else?” quip that Bellingham, who plays his club football for Real Madrid, made after scoring Sunday’s history-making goal, and postgame comments he uttered about the “rubbish” spouted by fans and pundits regarding (at least until that goal) England’s lackluster performance in Germany.

Gary Neville, the ITV football expert, while acknowledging that Bellingham’s “a special player and that goal has saved England,” also blasted that it “saved” Southgate from having more manure heaped on him.

And, as Bellingham himself observed at Sunday’s postgame press conference, “in 30 seconds, one kick of the ball and everything can change.”

Graham and director Rupert Goold have been on the ground in Germany following England’s progress and charting how Southgate handles what are possibly his last games managing the Three Lions.

Other than Southgate, Kane and Bellingham, and probably Gary Lineker the BBC Match of the Day commentator, Graham said he has “absolutely no idea” which characters will be included in the TV series.

Joseph Fiennes plays Gareth Southgate, the England men’s soccer team manager, in the play ‘Dear England’

Marc Brenner

He added that he “won’t be putting pen to paper on the TV version until I know how it’s going to end” at the Euros in Germany.

And certainly no other casting, asides from Fiennes, has been done.

Bellingham’s a showman on the football field. Perhaps he might be enticed to perform an extended cameo in Dear England? I’m sure there’s no actor on Earth able to replicate that landmark goal he scored in Gelsenkirchen.

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