The stars and writer of Ten Percent have emphasised that the show isn’t just a remake of the original French series Call My Agent – but there are undeniable parallels that fans will spot instantly.
The British version, which is due to launch on Amazon Prime Video, follows a talent agency based in London called Nightingale Hart, which is thrown into the deep end when its founder, Richard Nightingale (Jim Broadbent), dies unexpectedly.
Richard’s son Jonathan Nightingale (Jack Davenport), as well as fellow agents Rebecca Fox (Lydia Leonard), Dan Bala (Prasanna Puwanarajah) and Stella Hart (Maggie Steed) are left scrambling to make sure the company remains intact, all the while dealing with the trials and tribulations of looking after A-list stars.
Ahead of the programme’s release, Metro.co.uk spoke to several of the show’s cast members and its writer John Morton, whose previous works includes The Sunday Format, Broken News, W1A and Twenty Twelve.
They explained that while the first couple of episodes of Ten Percent may feel extremely similar to the French show, after that, the storylines diverge to a far more significant degree.
Lydia, who has reportedly been cast as Cherie Blair in The Crown, stated that while ‘episode one is the same’, after that, ‘it goes very, very different’.
‘So if anyone who starts watching thinks it’s just going to be a remake, they will be either disappointed or very pleased. It totally goes on its own journey,’ she said.
‘It starts the same and then builds. We’re so different to the French, the French are much cooler than us and we’re sort of shambolic and hapless and coping through humour and not saying what we feel and all those British things.’
Rebecca, who plays Jonathan’s overly dedicated assistant Julia, expressed her view that fans of Call My Agent will likely watch Ten Percent ‘out of interest and intrigue’.
‘Hopefully what will stay with them is John’s amazing writing and his perspective on the show, because it is so rooted in British comedy and throughout the series, it just starts curling around and tangling up in different directions,’ she outlined.
‘It’s just that first episode with everyone being established really that there’s much similarity I think. Everything else started to grow in its own way.’
John opened up on one of the biggest differences in the show to the original, as in the French series, the boss of the company is a father figure to his employees, rather than actually being related to any of them.
However, in Ten Percent, Jonathan is the son of the talent agency’s late founder Richard, which results in his death having a different, poignant impact on the narrative.
The writer stressed that while watching Call My Agent, he was more interested in the relationships between the characters than the fact that they are talent agents.
‘They’re a dysfunctional family in the French show who drive each other absolutely nuts a lot of the time, and there’s a kind of proxy father figure Mathias, and there’s the very bright daughter and the slightly underachieving son, so you can map it out that way,’ he said.
‘But in our show, it becomes literally a family in part because the founder of the agency is actually Jonathan’s father. So I think telling the story of a group of people trying to get through the days and their lives together in that way is more interesting to me than the fact that they’re agents, which I know is what most people will be interested in about the show.’
All eight episodes of Ten Percent are due to drop on Friday April 28 on Amazon Prime Video.