28 July, 2007

Bonkers writer faces copycat case

Broadcast:

Writer Sally Wainwright is being sued for breach of copyright by a playwright who claims the idea for ITV1 comedy series Bonkers was stolen from her play of the same name.

Lawyers representing playwright and actress Tricia Walsh-Smith have filed a claim against Wainwright to the High Court of Justice.

The television comedy, which starred Liza Tarbuck, was co-produced by Lime Pictures and Wainwright's own Sparkhouse Productions and aired earlier this year.

"Episode one was basically my play but extremely poorly written," Walsh-Smith said. "Everything from the title and the premise to the storyline and the characterisation was stolen from me."

Walsh-Smith's Bonkers was written 20 years ago.

Lime Pictures said in a statement: "Sally Wainwright, Lime Pictures and ITV refute entirely the claim that the TV series Bonkers in any way breaches copyright in the play and we will be defending the claims vigorously."

Wainwright is known for adapting established works such as Wuthering Heights and The Taming of the Shrew.

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