Nicôle Lecky's follow-up, Sally Wainwright's next project and more!
Today at the Edinburgh Television Festival, during BBC's 'Spotlight on' session, the BBC's Director of Drama, Lindsay Salt, announced 22 hours of new drama for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
The four new dramas announced include Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright's next project, Nicôle Lecky's second project for the BBC, an adaptation of AA Dhand’s best-selling crime novels starring Sacha Dhawan and a new thriller starring Jenna Coleman.
Here's everything you need to know about these four new dramas...
Happy Valley writer and creator Sally Wainwright is returning to BBC One with new six-part drama Hot Flush, which centres on the lives of five women of a certain age who come together to create a makeshift, butt-of-the-joke punk-rock band in order to enter a talent contest.
But when they rehearse together they suddenly discover that they have a lot more to say than they ever imagined, and this is the way to say it.
Hot Flush follows the women as they deal with demanding jobs, grown-up children who still eat up their energy, dependent parents, husbands who’ve let them down and the menopause. The band becomes a catalyst for change in the women’s lives, and it’s going to make them question everything.
As the story, which is set in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, progresses, it’s more than music that binds them; a deeply potent, long-buried secret connects Kitty and Beth, the two unlikely creative masterminds behind the band, and it’s a secret that could tear everything apart.
Speaking about her new BBC One drama, writer and executive producer Sally Wainwright said "I've been wanting to write a series like this for a long time. It's a celebration of women of a certain age, and all the life-stuff they suddenly find themselves negotiating/dealing with."
"The show is also my own personal homage to Rock Follies of '77, and the feisty Little Ladies who woke me up to what I wanted to do with my life when I was 13. I'm thrilled to be working with Charlotte again at the BBC, looking forward hugely to working with Lindsay, and utterly delighted to (finally!) be working with Roanna again at Drama Republic."
Written and executive-produced by Sally Wainwright, Hot Flush is produced by Drama Republic and Clare Shepherd and executive-produced by Roanna Benn.
Speaking about Hot Flush, Executive Producer Roanna Benn said "I am truly over the moon to be working with the amazing Sally on her new show for the BBC. In Hot Flush, Sally has found a unique way to explore and celebrate female friendships that is bold, vital and true. In inimitable Sally-style, Hot Flush introduces us to brilliant and unforgettable characters; it is so funny, and simultaneously so full of drama, it will have you laughing and sitting on the edge of your seat. This is a show about the women who hold up modern Britain, their stories urgently need to be told, and who better than Sally Wainwright to do that."
To which the BBC's Director of Drama, Lindsay Salt, added "We’re so excited to have the magnificent Sally Wainwright back writing on the BBC, with the brilliant Drama Republic team producing. Hot Flush is a sharply observed, vibrant and vital story of five very different women at the same stage in their lives, joined together by their love of music. But that’s just the start and - as you’d expect from Sally - there are twists and turns aplenty to keep viewers enthralled."
Jenna Coleman to star in BBC One's new four-part thriller The Jetty, from writer Cat Jones, as rookie detective Ember Manning.
When a fire tears through a holiday home in a scenic Lancashire lake town, Detective Ember Manning must work out how it connects to a podcast journalist investigating a missing persons cold case and an illicit ‘love’ triangle between a man in his twenties and two underage girls.
But as Ember gets close to the truth, it threatens to destroy her life – forcing her to re-evaluate everything she thought she knew about her past, present and the town she’s always called home.
Described as much a coming-of-age story as a detective thriller, The Jetty asks big questions about sexual morality, identity and memory, in the places that Me Too has left behind.
On playing Detective Ember Manning, Jenna Coleman said "I’m delighted to be returning to the BBC to be a part of The Jetty, with Firebird Pictures at the helm, bringing the story of Ember Manning to life. I look forward to exploring Cat Jones’ darkly probing scripts, alongside Marialy Rivas’ eloquent vision."
To which writer and creator Cat Jones added "I’m thrilled to be making The Jetty for BBC One. Like millions of people all over the world, I've grown up loving and admiring BBC dramas, so getting to create one really is a dream come true."
"The Jetty is a story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time but it wasn’t until it found its champions at the fantastically writer friendly Firebird, that it really came to life. What feels like a total dream team continues to grow with the addition of Marialy Rivas to direct and the brilliant Jenna Coleman. I’ve no doubt audiences are going to be completely transfixed by her as Ember."
Produced by Firebird Pictures, one of BBC Studios’ owned production labels, The Jetty has been written and created by Cat Jones, directed by Marialy Rivas and executive produced by Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Sarah Wyatt, Cat Jones, Marialy Rivas, Jenna Coleman and Jo McClellan for the BBC.
Speaking about today's announcement, executive producer Elizabeth Kilgarriff said "Provocative, thrilling and deliciously surprising at every turn, Cat’s beautiful scripts promise to take the audience on a rollercoaster ride where nothing is quite as it seems."
"To have the opportunity to work with Jenna again – and see her bring our complex, funny and utterly human heroine Ember to life on BBC One, couldn’t be more exciting – and I can’t wait to see the visual magic that the brilliant Marialy Rivas weaves as this powerful and gripping story unfolds."
And the BBC's Director of Drama, Lindsay Salt, added "The Jetty is so much more than a crime thriller, and with Cat Jones as writer, Firebird Pictures producing and Jenna in the lead role of Ember Manning, I know we have the perfect team in place to create a truly brilliant, brave series. I can’t wait for BBC viewers to discover its many secrets."
Untitled Nicôle Lecky Series
Following the success of Mood on BBC Three, Nicôle Lecky is diving into the world of teenage girls and their mothers for a new six-part mystery thriller for BBC One.
We meet Lorna, a self-made and successful black businesswoman from South London who has worked hard to be where she is and best friend Juliet, a white woman born into the privileged gated community they both call home.
Daughters Grace and Allegra are BFFs and life is to die for. A safe haven for the super-rich and their little darlings, Primrose Estate is a place where bad things never happen.
Until, that is, Grace and Allegra are implicated in a shocking scandal at their exclusive private school and Juliet and Lorna are forced to take sides, pushing their friendship to the extreme.
As toxic secrets and lies ripple through the heart of the idyllic town and a teenager goes missing cracks within the community threaten to reveal the elitist ugliness and betrayal beneath. Because it turns out that people are not who they say they are…especially the one per cent.
Set in a private enclave in the Home Counties, this promises to be a multi-generational show following the teenagers, their mothers and the wider community. A provocative and deliciously honest look at mother/daughter relationships in a haze of social media, hidden apps and peer pressure that asks: how far will we go to protect our children? And just how much do teenage girls know about the women raising them?
If the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, then who is leading these girls astray? “Like mother like daughter” rings loudly in a complex world, and danger is never far from the surface - even in a perfect town.
Speaking about today's announcement, Nicôle Lecky said "I am truly thrilled to be working with the BBC again alongside the incredible Liz Kilgarriff and the team at Firebird Pictures. Creating the world so far has been a lot of fun and I am looking forward to finding our four amazing female leads in Juliet, Lorna, Grace and Allegra. Dark humour, big twists and bags of attitude are what makes this show so juicy - not to mention a killer soundtrack and wardrobe. I can’t wait to bring it to the screen."
To which executive producer Elizabeth Kilgarriff added "To be working with the brilliant creative force that is Nicôle Lecky is hugely exciting and we are delighted to be bringing this fabulous, subversive, darkly funny and thoroughly entertaining mystery thriller to the BBC."
"Set in a seductive world of privilege and wealth, Nicôle shines a light on the often messy and complex reality of mother/daughter relationships, peeling back the layers of perfectionism to reveal the real women beneath – and then forcing their secrets and lies to the surface in an explosion of betrayal, scandal and down-right bad behaviour."
"Deliciously outrageous, emotionally complex and surprising at every turn - with an inimitable Nicôle Lecky twist – this is a story where all that glitters definitely isn’t gold."
And the BBC's Director of Drama, Lindsay Salt, said "This powerful and compelling new drama from Nicôle Lecky taps into the fears and concerns of all parents, exploring what lies beneath the surface of two families’ supposed perfect lives and how a scandal can ripple through a community with long lasting effects. I’m thrilled that Nicôle has chosen to write her second drama series for the BBC, working alongside the team at Firebird and I’m excited to see her vision come to life."
Produced by Firebird Pictures, one of BBC Studios’ owned production labels, this untitled series has been written and created by Nicôle Lecky and will be executive produced by Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Nicôle Lecky, Ayela Butt and Lucy Richer for the BBC.
Sacha Dhawan to star in BBC One's new six-part detective drama Virdee, based on AA Dhand’s best-selling crime novels.
Adapted for the screen by AA Dhand. Virdee introduces Detective Harry Virdee, played by Sacha Dhawan, a Bradford cop disowned by his Sikh family for marrying Saima, who is Muslim. Harry struggles with abandonment, constantly attempting to reunite with his family. With his personal life in chaos, he must hunt down a killer targeting the Asian community.
When the murderer kidnaps a local MP’s daughter in Bradford and holds the entire city to ransom, Harry realises that he is going to need the help of his brother-in-law Riaz, a drugs kingpin who runs the largest cartel in the county.
Pulled together in an alliance that could ruin them both, Harry must make a choice: save himself and his family or save his city. He will not be able to do both.
Speaking about adapting his novels for television, AA Dhand said "Like me, DCI Harry Virdee is a proud Brit who dreams big and whilst he is passionate about his heritage, it is not something which solely defines him. He refuses to be shackled by the past and believes in merging worlds, cultures and identities; no matter the cost. Hey, aim big or go home – this is Yorkshire."
To which the BBC's Director of Drama, Lindsay Salt, added "I’m passionate about supporting writers at every stage in their careers and we are thrilled to be working with Amit on his very first drama for television along with the team at Magical Society."
"Virdee is a powerful and gripping detective story but at its heart are two people in love and their struggle to be accepted as a couple. With Sacha in the lead role of Harry and Bradford providing the perfect backdrop, I can’t wait for viewers to be captivated by this series.
Produced by Magical Society in association with Screen Yorkshire, Virdee will be produced by Stella Nwimo, co-produced by Gareth Coulam Evans, Callum Dodgson, Sylvie Richards and Karl Hall and executive-produced by Paul Trijbits, AA Dhand and Jo McClellan for the BBC.
Speaking about Virdee, Executive Producer Paul Trijbits said "Working with Amit to get the Harry Virdee books to the screen has been a long but utterly satisfying journey. It’s no mean feat for Amit to have succeeded in adapting this love story set in such a rich and complex world and wrapping it all up in a crime series."
Filming will start later this year in and around Bradford and further cast will be announced in due course.