Val Lehman wants to return to Wentworth

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. daveinprogress

    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!

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