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Girlfriends Casting

Published: Mon 03 Jul 2017

Filming has begun on Rollem Productions brand new ITV drama Girlfriends - from the pen of BAFTA award-winning screenwriter Kay Mellor. 

The series stars Phyllis Logan (The Good Karma Hospital, Downton Abbey), Miranda Richardson (Mapp & Lucia, And Then There Were None, Churchill, iBoy) and Zoë Wanamaker (Mr Selfridge, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, My Family, Gormenghast, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) in the three lead roles and showcases a stellar supporting cast  including: Daisy Head (Guilt, The Syndicate 3), Chris Fountain (Coronation Street, Hollyoaks), Philip Cumbus (The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, Comus), Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter, Ripper Street), Val Lilley (Cuffs, Mr Sloane, Shameless), Anthony Head (A Street Cat Named Bob, You, Me & Them), Adrian Rawlins (Hard Sun, Maigret in Montmartre), Wendy Craig (The Worst Witch, Unforgotten), Dave Hill (Porridge, Vera), Steve Evets (This Is Us, Looking For Eric, Rev), Paula Wilcox (Upstart Crow, Mount Pleasant, Boomers), Chloe Hart (Kinky Boots, Hairspray), Elena Saurel (Midsomer Murders, Silent Witness), Thailia Zucchi (The Windsors, New Tricks), Emmett J Scanlon (The Fall, In The Flesh), Rochenda Sandall (Love, Lies & Records, Broken) and Matthew Marsh (Love, Lies & Records, Riviera). 

Girlfriends is a contemporary story of Linda, Sue and Gail as they struggle with the responsibilities and inevitable changes that come with being a modern woman of a certain age... But true friendship remains the same no matter how many years have passed. 

After the dramatic and sudden death of Linda’s husband Micky, childhood friends Linda (Phyllis Logan), Sue (Miranda Richardson) and Gail (Zoë Wanamaker) find themselves back together again. Each has their own problems to face; from a looming divorce from the husband she still loves and the loss of a high-powered job through age discrimination, to juggling the endless responsibilities of their grandchildren and aging mothers.

As widowed Linda tries to come to terms with being on her own after over 30 years of marriage, she and her girlfriends are horrified to find that this could be the least of her worries. As questions over the circumstances of Micky’s death start to be asked, accusations reveal secrets, deception and doubts that tear at our Girlfriends’ friendship. Will it endure or will it be severely put to the test?

Phyllis Logan says: "I’m thrilled to be part of Girlfriends, written by the wonderful Kay Mellor and to be working not only with her but the stellar cast that has been assembled. It’s a hugely exciting project and I feel enormously fortunate to be involved in it. I can’t wait to get started.”

Miranda Richardson comments: “A whole summer spent working on a women-driven script, written and directed by a woman who has proved herself many times over as a force of nature in TV drama alongside some of our most gifted female actors - what's not to like?”

Zoë Wanamaker adds: “I'm looking forward to working on this exciting new series with such a stellar cast.  I have long been a fan of Kay’s work and am relishing the opportunity to work alongside Miranda and Phyllis.”

Kay Mellor says: “Girlfriends is my passion project, it’s a story that I’ve been longing to tell.  It’s wonderful to be returning to ITV and working with Polly Hill again – she’s an inspiration to me.

I’m so looking forward to working with such a talented cast.  It’s fantastic that we’ve got such high-calibre actors to play the three very different leading characters.

I’m aware that there are a lot of women of a certain age who feel like they are invisible and unheard, so I’m proud to have the chance to shine a light on their lives and give them a voice.  The series is not just a platform for their voices though – there is a big, bold, dark story at its heart, which is shot through with humour.  I’m hoping both men and women will love it as much as I’ve loved writing it.”

Polly Hill, Head of Drama for ITV adds: "This is a fabulous cast and testament to Kay's wonderful scripts.  Kay celebrates women of a certain age and female friendship through this wonderful and compelling story. I am proud to have this on ITV and delighted to see Kay return to the channel in such a brilliant way.  I can't wait to see Zoë, Miranda and Phyllis bring her characters to life, and look forward to sharing Girlfriends with our audience next year."

Girlfriends is a 6 x 60 drama series and has been commissioned by Polly Hill, Head of Drama for ITV. The series will be directed by Kay Mellor (The Syndicate, In The Club) and produced by Josh Dynevor (Fat Friends Series 3, The New Worst Witch).  The executive producers are Kay Mellor for Rollem Productions and Polly Hill for ITV.  It is a Rollem production for ITV and the series will be distributed by All3media International.

David Swetman, VP Acquisitions at All3media says: “It is a real pleasure to be working with Kay Mellor and her talented team at Rollem – we’ve admired Kay’s work for many years and it has been a pleasure working with her on upcoming production, Love, Lies & Records.  We are delighted to announce that we have secured Acorn Media Enterprises again as the North American partner for this Rollem show (Acorn Media Enterprises is the UK-based development division for the Acorn brand of RLJ Entertainment, Inc.).”