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I TALK Boy Meets Girl

Whether it's Transparent on Amazon, I Am Cait on E! or Orange Is The New Black on Netflix, there seems to be a real appetite for television to represent transgender characters and issues.

Even EastEnders will be introducing a transgender character in the next year. But this week BBC Two are making TV history by launching the UK's first ever transgender comedy, Boy Meets Girl.

Created and written by Elliott Kerrigan, Boy Meets Girl won a competition back in 2012 by BBC Writersoom and All About Trans, who were looking for a script that portrayed transgender characters positively.

In 2014 a studio pilot was shot (under the title Love) and then a full series was commissioned with Simon Carlyle and Andrew Mettam joining Kerrigan as writers.

Leo, played by Harry Hepple has had a bad day. He's been fired (again), and is being given a hard time by his mum. To cap it all, his blind date fails to show up. This is when he bumps into Judy and finds himself deeply attracted to this surprising and beguiling woman.

They bond over drinks and, unfazed by the fact that there's a bit of an age gap between them, arrange to meet the following evening. Leo's mother is unhappy that he's having dinner with an older woman, but he doesn't care what she thinks; he knows that he's just met someone very special.

The series opens with the line "Leo, there's something that I need to tell you. I could tell you later, or I could tell you now, but I wasn't to tell you now. I was born with a penis."

What follows could have been full of stereotypical jokes about transgender, such as "Oh that was a firm handshake" or "Isn't she tall?", but thankfully the comedy takes a different turn. I'd argue that Boy Meets Girl is a comedy about love and family before it's one about being transgender.

Judy is played by Rebecca Root, a transgender actor who herself is making UK television history by becoming the first transgender actor to play a major role in a UK comedy.

Let's not forget that earlier this year, Bethany Black, became the first transgender woman to play a trans character in a TV series, when she appeared in Banana, however as you'll remember, this wasn't a major role and she only appeared in one episode.

With hints of The Royle Family and Gavin & StaceyBoy Meets Girl is a delightful warm comedy that can't help but make you feel good.

As well as being warm, it's very funny, helped by a great supporting cast including Denise Welch (Waterloo Road) who plays Pam, Leo's mother, Janine Duvitski (Benidorm) who plays Judy's mother Peggy and Jonny Dixon (Coronation Street) who plays Leo's brother James.

I’ve only seen the first three episodes, but already I’m hooked and can see a very bright future for this show as everyone is bound to fall in love with the characters.

Boy Meets Girl starts Thursday 3rd September at 9:30pm on BBC Two


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