Cast in Place, Filming to Begin on New ITV Drama Girlfriends


The new ITV drama Girlfriends, penned by screenwriter Kay Mellor, has cast its three leading actresses and is gearing up to begin filming next month.

Zoë Wanamaker (Mr Selfridge, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), Miranda Richardson (Mapp & Lucia, And Then There Were None, Churchill) and Phyllis Logan (The Good Karma Hospital, Downton Abbey) lead the cast of this contemporary drama, about three women struggling with the responsibilities that come with being a modern female of a certain age. Rollem Productions is producing, with Acorn Media Enterprises as the North American partner. The 6×1-hour series will be distributed by all3media International.

Logan commented: “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.”

Richardson said: “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?”

Wanamaker added: “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.”

Mellor said: “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-caliber 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 humor. I’m hoping both men and women will love it as much as I’ve loved writing it.”

Polly Hill, the head of drama for ITV, added: “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.”

David Swetman, the VP of acquisitions at all3media, said: “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 U.K.-based development division for the Acorn brand of RLJ Entertainment).”