Mr. Loverman Adaptation Coming to BBC One


The BBC and Fable Pictures are developing an eight-part adaptation of Bernardine Evaristo’s 2013 novel Mr. Loverman for BBC One and iPlayer.

The drama tells the story of Barrington Jedidiah Walker, a 70-year-old Antigua-born man with an exuberant Hackney personality who is renowned for his dapper taste. His wife of 50 years senses that he has been cheating on her with other women, but the truth is that he has been in a decades-long passionate affair with his best friend Morris.

In Mr. Loverman, Evaristo explores Britain’s older Caribbean community and tackles themes such as aspirations and regret, parenthood and social expectations about sexual orientation and love.

Nathanial Price (The Outlaws, Noughts & Crosses) is adapting the book for the screen, while Hong Khaou (Baptiste, Lilting, Monsoon) is attached as director. Lennie James (Save Me, Line of Duty) will star in the lead role.

Filming is set to commence later this year. Sony Pictures Television will distribute the series internationally.

“I am thrilled that Mr. Loverman is being adapted into television drama,” Evaristo said. “I love the idea of them stepping beyond the pages of the novel and into people’s living rooms and lives.”

James said, “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…”

“From the moment I read Mr. Loverman, I fell in love with Barry, Morris, Carmel and the entire Walker family,” Price noted. “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 honor 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.”

“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,” said Faye Ward, executive producer for Fable Pictures. “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.”

Lindsay Salt, director of BBC Drama, 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.”