Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh to pen drama about Manchester brothers behind Gio-Goi fashion empire

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh is penning a new drama series about the real-life story of two Manchester brothers who built a global fashion empire on the back of the city’s acid house scene.

The series, entitled Too Much Rock ‘N’ Roll, is based on Wythenshawe siblings Anthony and Christopher Donnelly, who built their Gio-Goi empire after growing up surrounded by members of Manchester’s legendary Quality Street Gang.

The brothers rose to prominence with their brand on the catwalks of London, Paris, Milan and Tokyo after previously making livings as ticket touts at Old Trafford and Maine Road, only to watch it crumble following a combination of police investigations, gang violence, drugs and mismanagement from hedge funds. 

Welsh and screenwriter and producer Dean Cavanagh, who have teamed with Keo films for the venture, said:  “We’re really excited to be involved in telling the story of The Donnelly Brothers for the screen. Like them we’re a duo that have a similar dynamic.

“We’ve been offered many true life stories over the years but what attracts us to this story in particular is the fact that Anthony and Christopher are unbeatable, they won’t take no for answer, and we’re going to capture that spirit.

“It’s something we relate to having spent decades working in the business that is “show” and all the attendant bullshit that comes with it. Anthony and Christopher are stand up lads and so are we. Hopefully this is the start of a long and creative partnership.”

The Donnelly brothers, who were labelled “ambassadors for a generation” by famous designer Vivienne Westwood, explained that they were anticipating the production.

“When the book came out we got plenty of interest from people wanting to adapt it for the screen,” they said.

“Irvine and Dean are perfect for it – they totally get what we’re about.”

The series is expected to be filmed later this year.

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