The new movie version of The Singing Detective has been slammed by the producer of the celebrated TV original - who accuses the film of being "too glossy".

KEN TRODD, who produced legendary writer Dennis Potter's drama for the BBC in the eighties, has attacked the Hollywood version - which stars Robert Downey JNR in the lead role originally played by MICHAEL GAMBON - for watering down the controversial drama to the point where the "spirit" of the seven part series has been lost.

He says, "This is a bit too glossy for its own good. The natural tendency of Hollywood is to soften, and I think they've softened everything.

"There's no gallery of comic characters, the sense of the squalidness and basic awfulness of life in hospital which Michael Gambon's character struggled against.

"There's lines in there I can't believe Dennis wrote, even on a very painful day. Hollywood poured money into his stuff but very rarely did these things work creatively or commercially."

Trodd also believes Downey fails to hit the mark, saying his "gamely" performance "doesn't really come off".

12/11/2003 13:49