In advance of tomorrow night's first episode of Banished on BBC 2 at 9pm, the BBC Writers Room have shared a new interview with Jimmy McGovern.

Incidentally I never wrote a storyline. I had characters in there and I didn't have a clue what they were doing there. And I had fragments of story that went absolutely nowhere. But I just kept on writing and writing and hoping that I'd discover what the characters were doing, how they affected the story, and praying that those fragments would grow into something more substantial. And they did. I wrote it in the way you'd write a huge 19th century novel. And I think that's the way I'm always going to work in future. Too many story lines are ill conceived and hastily written. Far better surely to explore and find your characters as you go along - and your stories. Many of the characters actually existed but, apart from that, it is fiction. One of the convicts, for example, is portrayed as a noble, heroic individual whereas, in reality, he was almost certainly a weak petty thief. I've taken liberties similar to those taken by the makers of, say, Deadwood or any other western. It is not a drama-doc (where accuracy is essential). It is fiction. It is entertainment.