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Julie Walters withdraws from TV series due to ill health

Arrivals for British Independent Film Awards 2017
Julie Walters

Julie Walters has pulled out of a TV series due to “severe back pain”.

The Mamma Mia! actress was filming Truelove with The Wire’s Clarke Peters last year when she suffered “severe back pain” that demanded medical attention. The production subsequently paused to give the 73-year-old time to recover, but she has now withdrawn from the role.

“Last year, filming on Truelove was paused while Julie Walters sought medical advice and attention for severe back pain,” a representative for Clerkenwell Films told Deadline in a statement.

“Subsequently, Julie has decided to step back from the project to focus on her recovery and recuperation, and so will not be returning to the role of Phil. We wholeheartedly support her decision, and the entire cast, crew and production team wish her the very best and a speedy recovery.”

After a nine-month break, production of the Channel 4 series will resume in Bristol, England later this year, with About Time star Lindsay Duncan in the role of Phil.

“We are delighted that Lindsay Duncan will be stepping into the role of Phil. We’re excited to see what she brings to this complex and captivating character when we restart filming later this year,” the statement continued.

Truelove creators Charlie Covell and Iain Weatherby told the outlet they were “saddened” to learn of Walters’s decision but insisted Duncan was hired as her replacement “with her blessing”.

Truelove would have marked Walters’ first onscreen role since she revealed in 2020 that she had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2018. She went public with her cancer battle after she had undergone surgery and chemotherapy and been given the all-clear.

– Cover Media