Dirty Filthy Love (ITV1 2004, Michael Sheen, Adrian Bower)

Dirty Filthy Love is an offbeat romantic comedy with a difference. Darkly funny, quirky and poignant, this single drama tells the story of a man with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) negotiating his way through divorce, redundancy and a woman who introduces him to therapy, filth and love.

Michael Sheen (The Deal, Underworld, Bright Young Things) is Mark Furness. Mark has lost his job, his wife and his home. Why? Because he has a few “bad habits”. Not just leaving the loo seat up or chewing his nails. Mark takes the stairs in a bizarre sequence. And washes his hands until they bleed. And sometimes yelps and swears at random.

Shirley Henderson (Bridget Jones’s Diary) is Charlotte. She pulls her hair out, chews the roots and measures the distance between her nose and her cup before she takes a drink. Charlotte runs Mark’s self help group for sufferers of OCD, an assortment of colourful characters who cling to each other in a world where their obsessions are ridiculed. That is when they are not bickering.

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production details
UK / ITV1 – Granada / 1×100 minute episode / Broadcast 26 September 2004

Writers: Jeff Pope and actor Ian Puleston-Davis. Ian suffers with OCD and the film is partly based on his own experiences / Music: Martin Phipps / Executive Producers: Andy Harries, Jeff Pope / Producer: Christine Langan / Director: Adrian Shergold

Michael Sheen as Mark Furness
Adrian Bower as Nathan
Claudie Blakley as Kathy
Anastasia Griffith as Stevie
Katie McGuinness as Alison
Anton Lesser as Charles
Ebe Sievwright as Tom
Elliot Cowan as Gareth
Shirley Henderson as Charlotte
John O’Mahony as Doctor Dunphy
Daniel Kruyer as Cabbie
Stewart Wright as Rhodri
Bhasker Patel as Hasim
Kika Markham as Geraldine
Mercedes Grower as Gemma
Tim Stern as Kenneth
Malcolm Rogers as Farmer
Mary Sheen as Farmer’s Wife
Michael Elwyn as Richard
John Salthouse as Bob
Heather Tobias as Judith
Hilary Sesta as Gran

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.