BBC Two has announced a full series of Alma's Not Normal following a hit pilot episode.
Created, written by, starring and executive produced by Sophie Willan, inaugural winner of the BBC’s Caroline Aherne Bursary Award in 2018, Alma’s Not Normal centres on Boltonian wild-child, Alma Nuthall and her family of eccentric, unruly women.
The six-part series (including the pilot) is expected to air in 2021.
The BBC said of the show: "[The show] follows Alma as she tries to get her life back on track following a recent break-up. But with no job, no qualifications and a rebellious streak a mile wide, it’s not going to be easy.
"Meanwhile her mum, who is battling a heroin addiction, has been sectioned for arson and her vampish Grandma Joan wants nothing to do with it.
"Alma’s Not Normal offers a bitingly funny and unflinching take on class, sexuality, mental health and substance abuse. It celebrates women dealing with the hands they’ve been dealt while doggedly pursing their dreams."
The cast returning for the full series alongside Sophie are Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley, Downton Abbey) as her mum Lin; Lorraine Ashbourne (The Crown, Cheat) as her Nan Joan, Jayde Adams (Crazy Delicious) as Alma’s best friend Leanne, James Baxter (Still Open all Hours, Emmerdale) as Alma’s ex-boyfriend Anthony and Nicholas Asbury (Doctor Who, Chewing Gum) as Jim.
Completing the cast are; Thanyia Moore (The Duchess, Jamie Johnson), Dave Spikey (Phoenix Nights) and Ben Willbond (Ghosts, Yonderland).
Sophie Willan said: "I’ve been overwhelmed by the fabulous response to the pilot and I'm so excited to be developing the series! I’ve already been using the lockdown as a chance to get cracking so I'm just pleased to have the official go ahead! I can’t wait to get it made and share the world of Alma with everyone!"
She added: “I’m delighted that filming is underway for series one of Alma’s Not Normal, and even happier to be working alongside such a fantastic group of actors! We can’t wait for audiences to learn more about Alma’s world and the eclectic mix of characters that surround her.”
Nerys Evans, Creative Director, Comedy and Executive Producer at production company Expectation added: “It’s been such a pleasure working with Sophie on Alma’s Not Normal, she’s innately funny and has such a unique outlook on life.
"Her writing is so authentic and intelligent; in just one episode she has created such a fully formed world.
"Her characters are beautifully observed and often flawed and sometimes challenging, but Sophie’s humour allows her to explore some really difficult subjects. I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds across a series as she’s bursting with brilliant ideas.”
Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, commented: “Alma’s Not Normal landed so wonderfully formed with its distinctiveness, heart on sleeve charm, sparky humour and knockout cast. Sophie’s raw honesty, eye for characterisation and comedic insouciance have resulted in a cracking show bursting with potential.
"We just couldn’t resist a series and hope it does the memory and spirit of Caroline Aherne very proud.”
Alma's Not Normal is expected to air in 2021 on BBC Two.