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Lennie James to star in new BBC One drama Mr Loverman

The eight-part drama has been adapted from Bernadine Evaristo's acclaimed 2013 novel of the same name.

Based on the acclaimed 2013 novel by Bernardine Evaristo, Mr Loverman, adapted by Nathanial Price, promises to be a life-affirming story about family, love, and being true to yourself.

It'll star Lennie James as the exuberant protagonist, Barrington Jedidiah Walker, Esq. Barry to his mates. Trouble to his wife, his daughters, and his lover. Seventy years old, Antiguan-born, exuberant Hackney personality, Barry is renowned for his dapper taste and fondness for retro suits.

Carmel, his wife of 50 years, senses that Barry has been cheating on her with other women. Little does she know what’s really going on: a secret, decades-long passionate affair with his best friend and soulmate, Morris.

Now entering the next chapter of his life, Barry has big choices to make that will force his whole family to question their own futures.

Bringing to life Bernardine Evaristo’s ground-breaking exploration of Britain’s older Caribbean community, Mr Loverman paints an incisive portrait of a family, exploring aspirations and regret, parenthood, and social expectations about sexual orientation and love.

Speaking ahead of filming, which begins later this year, with further casting yet to be announced, Bernardine Evaristo said "I am thrilled that Mr Loverman is being adapted into television drama. I love the idea of them stepping beyond the pages of the novel and into people’s living rooms and lives."

To which Lennie James added "I can't wait to get Barrington's swagger on and help tell this crucial and complicated love story. As funny as it is sad. As full of heart as it is heartache..."

Screenwriter and Associate Producer Nathaniel Price said "From the moment I read Mr Loverman I fell in love with Barry, Morris, Carmel and the entire Walker family. Bernardine’s novel is not only a beautiful, truthful story, full of deeply human characters, it is a vitally important one. It is unflinching in its challenge of cultural myths and stereotypes, and an exhibition of just how deep and far-reaching the consequences of prejudice and fear can be."

"It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to adapt this seminal work with the brilliant team at Fable to bring these unforgettable characters to life on screen."

Mr Loverman will be directed by Hong Khaou, executive produced b Lennie James alongside Faye Ward, Hannah Farrell and Hannah Price for Fable Pictures and Jo McClellan for the BBC.

Executive Producer for Fable Pictures, Faye Ward, said "We have long been fans of both Bernardine Evaristo’s work and the indomitable Lennie James - to bring the two together in an adaptation of Mr Loverman for the BBC with Nathaniel Price’s superb scripts has been a highlight of Fable Pictures to date. It’s got everything you could wish for in its rich and beautiful story, and dives right to the heart of family with all its complexities."

To which Director of BBC Drama, Lindsay Salt added "Mr Loverman is a must-read novel, and in the skilled hands of Nathaniel, Lennie and the Fable team it’s soon to be must-see television. I can’t think of a more perfect team to bring Bernardine’s exquisite story to the screen."

Mr Loverman will air on BBC One


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