Sherwood writer James Graham has defended the Notts Forest reference used in the BBC drama after fans blasted the wording used in Monday’s episode.
The six-parter explores the devastating killings that occurred in James’ Nottinghamshire hometown – with an impressive cast including David Morrissey, Leslie Manville, Joanne Froggatt and Robert Glenister.
James was a student in 2004 when his community was rocked by two killings and a massive manhunt, which saw police forces return to the county for the first time since the miners’ strikes in the mid-1980s.
The scene which had viewers talking (for the wrong reasons) saw Alun Armstrong’s character Gary scolding a boy who had never heard of Trevor Francis.
‘First million-pound player, Notts Forest, centre forward, 52 caps for England,’ he remarked.
Fans quickly took to social media to vent their frustrations, with one person writing:’Notts Forest? I’m not from there and even I know that’s a big no no.’
‘Just catching up with Sherwood #Sherwood. Great start apart from… we never say Notts Forest. #BBC,’ another added.
Responding to the controversy on social media, screenwriter James wrote: ‘I’m moved by all your Sherwood comments – thank you. Episode 2 tonight. On the hundreds of messages about “Notts Forest”
‘You are of course Absolutely Right. A true fan would never.’
He continued: ‘Because of Gary’s (Alun Armstrong’s) history & politics, we thought no way he’d be a fan, supporting a northern team (inspired by real characters, this was loosely the case). And he’s talking to a child.
‘I worried “Nottnm” wouldn’t register for wider viewers & for non footy fans Forest is just a forest. My bad. Know it frustrates fans. I’ll make amends. Please let me back into the city. Proud of your pride for your team.’
Sherwood is set in the Nottinghamshire village that James himself grew up in.
Sherwood itself is, indeed, a real place, and is particularly famous because of its historic association with the legend of Robin Hood.
Sherwood returns on Monday at 9pm on BBC One.