Val Lehman wants to return to Wentworth

By David Knox on March 5, 2012 / Filed Under Pay TV 6

Val Lehman wants back inside Wentworth.

Lehman, who is forever identified as iconic top dog Bea Smith, is keen to nab a role in Foxtel’s new drama series -but has her heart set on more than a mere cameo.

“F*** the cameo. I want to play the governor,” she told News Limited.

“I think it would be great to be a part of the show. And I’ve played a prisoner so I’d love to play an authority figure this time around. I think that’d be great fun.”

More details have emerged on the new series, announced yesterday by Foxtel.

The adaptation is set in the present and will begin with Bea Smith’s early days in prison. The storylines will include some of the original inmates and staff of Wentworth Detention Centre as well as characters, especially developed for the new series.

Although the show is basing scripts on Reg Watson’s original characters, Director of Television Brian Walsh says this is a ‘reimagining’ not a ‘remake.’

Wentworth is not a Prisoner remake, but a contemporary drama which brings new life to
some of the great female characters so many viewers came to love and loved to hate. There will be surprises, twists and turns all along the way. This is a major drama initiative for Foxtel which will engage existing Prisoner fans and entice entirely new audiences with its bold storytelling,” he said.

Writer Lara Radulovich (Neighbours, Something in the Air) is a longtime fan of the original series, and has developed the series with writer David Hannam (Neighbours, Dance Academy, Winners & Losers). Pete McTighe (Neighbours, Eastenders, Crownies) is also scripting.

The project differs from Inside Out, which was in development at TEN under Freehand, as a contemporary female prison series “inspired” by Prisoner.

The series will be filmed in Melbourne in coming months.


  1. OzJay March 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm -

    Given that Val is creeping up on 70, she’s somewhat past the retirement age of prison governors. Or anyone else working in prisons.

  2. adelaide_john March 6, 2012 at 10:33 am -

    Val Lehman cannot play Bea Smith – Bea died in the riot at Barnhurst

  3. dramaqueen March 6, 2012 at 9:47 am -

    She could be the “prison counsellor” … that would be a logical step forward for her character … imagine what she would be telling the girls!! :-)

  4. PJC March 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm -

    Any chance this will be filmed at the spiritual home of Wentworth Detention Centre… aka Nunawading?

  5. daveinprogress March 5, 2012 at 9:10 am -

    Ha, love her moxy!
    They want role reversals?

    Judith McGrath could play Lizzie
    Elspeth Ballantyne could play Mum
    Louise Siversen = Vera Bennett
    Collette Mann = Joyce Barry
    Maggie Kirkpatrick = Rita Connors/ or Frankie
    Janet Andrewartha = Joan Ferguson

    Sacha Horler for Bea? Kat Stewart for Lou Kelly…
    Just daydreaming!

  6. Adam Oriti Art March 5, 2012 at 7:55 am -

    Now I would watch if Val was in it.

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