Daytime TV addicts tuning in to new BBC1 series The Coroner may have noticed similarities to the Jenny Cooper novels by former barrister Matthew (M.R.) Hall. Both feature the adventures of a forty-something divorced solicitor who returns to her roots in south-west England to take up the post of coroner. Indeed the first book in the Hall oeuvre, published in 2009, is entitled, er, The Coroner.
Hall says the BBC was ‘placed on notice of a number of potential similarities in early 2015’ and was invited to change the name of its production. Auntie declined to do so.
The BBC said: ‘The Coroner is an original BBC One Daytime series which was developed independently by BBC Birmingham Drama Production and written by Sally Abbott. Matthew Hall has been made aware on several occasions that his novels were not used as a source material and there has been no breach of copyright.’
Obiter trusts that the dispute will be resolved without any of the parties ending up on a slab.