Reports of a hot new TV drama always go down well in the w&h office, but this time, we can hardly contain our excitement - and here's why. ITV's new six-part drama, Girlfriends, stars a number of w&h favourites, including Phyllis Logan, Miranda Richardson and Zoë Wanamaker, and as for the storyline? It sounds like just the sort of thing we want to spend our evenings getting stuck into.
From the pen of BAFTA award-winning screenwriter Kay Mellor, Girlfriends is a contemporary story of childhood friends Linda (Logan), Sue (Richardson) and Gail (Wanamaker) as they struggle with the responsibilities and inevitable changes that come with being a modern woman of a certain age. After the dramatic and sudden death of Linda's husband Micky, the three find themselves back together again, but each has their own problems to face; from a looming divorce to the loss of a high-powered job through age discrimination to juggling the endless responsibilities of grandchildren and aging mothers.
And as Linda tries to come to terms with being on her own after over 30 years of marriage, she and her girlfriends are horrified to discover that this could be the least of her worries. Questions over the circumstances of Micky's death start to be asked and accusations reveal secrets, deception and doubts that tear at their friendship.
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 [Head of Drama for ITV] 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."
Fortunately, we don't have to wait too long for it to hit our screens either because filming is currently taking place with a view to the series airing early next year. That's one thing to look forward to in 2018!
Girlfriends will air on ITV in early 2018.