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Age Before Beauty (BBC-1 2018, Robson Green, Sue Johnston)

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Debbie Horsfield drama Age Before Beauty, is a family saga set in a Manchester beauty salon starring Robson Green (Grantchester), Sue Johnston (Downton Abbey), Polly Walker (Mr Selfridge) and James Murray (Him).

The six-part drama, written by Horsfield (Poldark, Cutting It) and made by Mainstreet Pictures, is an exploration of youth, age, instant gratification and long-term relationships, all set within the beauty industry. At its heart is an unconventional family rife with sibling rivalries and unconventional parenting through the generations.

Also starring in the series are Lisa Riley (Three Girls), Kelly Harrison (The Level), Vicky Myers (The Five) and Madeleine Mantock (Into The Badlands).

Married to Wesley (James Murray) for 25 years, Bel (Polly Walker) has spent the last 18 years as a homemaker and mum to their twins – but having just waved them off to university, now has a void in her life. Enter Teddy (Robson Green), brother-in-law and long-time best friend, begging her to step in and rescue the family business – a down-at-heel beauty salon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

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Like Bel, it could do with a bit of a face-lift. And possibly a clear-out, since it employs her high-maintenance family: mother Ivy-Rae (Sue Johnston), a Northern Soul fanatic and spray tan technician; sisters Leanne (Kelly Harrison) – part-time nail-technician, part-time personal stylist; Tina (Lisa Riley) -‘body artist’ aka tattooist; and Heidi (Myers) – fillers & Botox, cosmetic surgery addict – mother to Disney, plump, nine year-old wannabe Pageant Queen.

Into the mix comes beautiful 20-something Personal Trainer Lorelei (Madeleine Mantock)who seems to have caught Wes’s eye… can Bel reconcile the demands of her business, her warring family and the problems in her marriage?

Sally Hayne, executive producer and joint MD at Mainstreet Pictures, says: “It’s wonderful to be reunited with Debbie on such a brilliant, joyful and uplifting show.”

Laura Mackie, executive producer and joint MD at Mainstreet Pictures, adds: “Age Before Beauty will make you laugh and make you cry, and as ever, Debbie has created the most original set of characters that the audience will want to spend time with.”

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Age Before Beauty is produced by Guy De Glanville and the director is Paul Norton Walker (I Want My Wife Back, Riviera). Writer and creator Debbie Horsfield is executive producer alongside Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes, Joint Managing Directors of Mainstreet Pictures; and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC.

production details
UK / BBC One / 6×55 minutes / 2018

Creator: Debbie Horsfield
Producer: Guy De Glanville

cast
Polly Walker as Isabel Finch
James Murray as Wesley Finch
Kelly Harrison as Leanne Roxton
Robson Green as Teddy Roxton
Sue Johnston as Ivy-Rae Regan
Lisa Riley as Tina Regan
Vicky Myers as Heidi Regan
Madeleine Mantock as Lorelei Bailey
Eugene Collins as Shaquille
Isabella Gill as Disney Regan
Amir El-Masry as Dante

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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