Everything you need to know about Age Before Beauty - the hottest new BBC drama

Warning: possible spoiler alerts below. Last night saw BBC's newest drama offering, Age Before Beauty, hit our screens with its very first episode.

The series, set in a beauty salon in Manchester's Northern Quarter, revolves around Bel, played by Polly Walker. Bel is in charge of the downtrodden beauty salon that bears her namesake, Mirrorbel.

The show follows the ups and downs of salon life - and follows the dysfunctional family who work within it, made up of Bel's husband Wesley, her younger sister Leanne, and Leanne's husband, Teddy Roxton.

So how did the opening of the show go down with viewers?

It seems people were pleasantly surprised by the first episode, taking to social media to comment that they enjoyed the "cracking cast", and reveal how "funny" they found the script.

One fan wrote, 'Watched #AgeBeforeBeauty last night... Cracking little show... Brillaint cast and really funny...'. While another agreed, 'Great cast & I think we are going to get more betrayals & shocks!!!'

Many viewers also compared the series to the former BBC hit Cutting It. If it enjoys anything like the success of the early noughties show, it'll be doing well!

So who is in Age Before Beauty?

Loose Women's Lisa Riley appears in the show as the sensible tattoo artist, Tina Regan, while Grantchester's Robson Green is Teddy Roxton - a charming businessman with a dark side.

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Kelly Harrison is Bel's younger sister Leanne - and is married to Robson's Teddy. James Murray, of Corrie fame, also stars as the dashingly handsome Wesley Finch, and Sue Johnston, who is best known for her work in Downton Abbey and the Royle Family, plays Ivy Rae-Regan, the fiery, fiesty family matriarch.

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She is married to Chizzler Regan, played by Struan Rodger. Also part of the cast is 35-year-old single mother Heidi Regan, played by Vicki Myers, Madeleine Mantock, who plays Lorelei Bailey, and Amir El-Masry (The Night Manager), who stars as Dante Shah.

What a cast!

Who wrote Age Before Beauty?

If there's one thing that's set to guarantee the show's success, it's the fact that Cutting It writer Debbie Horsfield is at the helm.

Debbie has penned the wildly successful Poldark BBC adaption, along with a range of other popular productions.

Of the series, she confessed that her previous hit success Cutting It did infact provide some inspiration - after viewers noticed the likeness.

She revealed, "I did a series a few years ago called Cutting It which was set in a hairdressing salon. I knew quite a bit about that world because I have twin sisters who had a salon. What was really clear at the time is that a salon environment is great for generating stories, particularly if it’s a family business.

She also revealed that the world's current obsession with image and social media provided further inspiration for the plot of the show.

Debbie shared, "I was talking to the two producers Sally Haynes and Laura Mackie who had done Cutting It with me and we were talking about what’s changed in the years since then and agreed that there’s much more obsession with the idea of staying young and attention on appearance.

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"That seemed an obvious territory to explore using three generations of one family and looking at what our expectations are of how people should behave at a certain time in their life. Having three generations of one family gave the space to explore that."

What is Age Before Beauty all about then?

Proceed with caution - episode one spoilers ahead!

In the first episode, viewers discovered that the handsome but dastardly Teddy is actually in love with his wife Leanne's sister, Bel - while Leanne is busy running the family salon into the ground financially.

Bel on the other hand has returned to the salon after a career break, after her kids leave the nest for university. Viewers see that Bel is still very much in love with husband Wes - but has a certain history with Teddy...

Wes, on the other hand, is discovered to have been having an affair with the much younger Lorelei, who is at first unaware of his married status.

How many episodes are there?

It's a six part series, so there are five more episodes left. The rest of the episodes will air on Tuesday nights on BBC One, at 9pm.

So will you be tuning in?

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.