This Sunday, 27th August, marks the airing of the debut episode in the Cormoran Strike series with “The Cuckoo’s Calling”, at 9pm on BBC1. The adaptation of Robert Galbraith’s 2013 novel has created a buzz of anticipation with the viewings expected to be sky-high.

Cormoran Strike
Tom Burke as Cormoran Strike alongside co-star Holliday Grainger, playing his assistant Robin Ellacott in ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’

One of our beneficiaries, Barney Gillespie, acted as a consultant on the show for the lead role, Cormoran Strike, played by actor Tom Burke. Burke, who was a judge for The Soldiers’ Charity Photo competition this year, plays Afghanistan veteran-turned-Private Investigator who is exploring a botched murder. Barney, like Burke’s character in Strike, is a below-the-knee amputee. Barney was on set to help Tom with the attributes needed to play the role of an amputee realistically. This included helping Tom with how to walk, put on and remove the prosthetic, and what movements would cause pain or discomfort.

Cormoran Strike
Tom Burke in a typically broody Cormoran Strike scene.

In 2010 at the age of just 22, Barney was deployed as Section Commander on his third tour of Afghanistan with the Royal Irish Regiment, who he joined when he was 16 years old. Four months into this tour, Barney stood on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) whilst on patrol and lost his leg below the knee. After three operations Barney was transferred back to the UK where he had to learn to walk on a prosthetic leg.

The Soldiers’ Charity helped by supplying grants that assisted his partner, Kirsty, with her travel arrangements, ensuring Barney did not spend Christmas alone in hospital. We also helped fund alterations to his driveway at home, ensuring it was adapted for his disability. Hear Barney’s story in more detail in our Charity video here.

Barney praises our Charity as ‘the unsung heroes. They just do the work and get on with the job quickly and quietly without any limelight or praise…’

Strike begins with ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ on Sunday August 27th on BBC1 at 9pm.

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