Channel 4 has announced new drama Truelove, starring Julie Walters and Clarke Peters.
The six-part series will also feature Sue Johnston, Phil Davis, Peter Egan, Karl Johnson, Kiran Sonia Sawar and Fiona Button also set to star
It comes from the team behind BAFTA award-winning Channel 4 series The End Of The F***ing World, written by Iain Weatherby (Humans) and co-created by him and Charlie Covell (The End of the F***ing World).
A teaser shares: “With a core cast in their late 60s and 70s, Truelove breaks the rules for older characters on screen and flips ageist tropes on their head in a series which promises thrilling twists and turns, irreverent humour and passionate romance.
“Enter our dynamic duo: Phil played by award-winning actress Julie Walters (National Treasure, Indian Summers), an ex-senior police chief enjoying a comfortable if boring retirement, and Ken played by Clarke Peters (The Wire, Da 5 Bloods), a divorcee and ex-special forces vet who feels similarly at sea. Phil and Ken were teenage sweethearts and despite life having moved on, they have never quite managed to forget each other.
“Cut to a friend’s funeral many years later where Phil and Ken, along with a gang of old friends, are reunited. At the wake, with nostalgia and booze flowing in equal measure, talk soon takes a meditative turn and the group discuss what an ‘ideal’ death might look like. Our gang make a drunken pact: rather than let each other suffer a slow and dreadful decline, they will step in and engineer a dignified death. In short, they will help each other die when the time is right. Because that, they all agree, is a sign of Truelove.
“But what starts out as a fanciful idea soon morphs into shocking reality…”
Caroline Hollick, Channel 4 Head of Drama, said: “Truelove is a unique, poignant and darkly funny series which deals with big themes around regrets at the paths not taken, quality of life and serious illness.
“Beautifully written and with actors of the calibre of Julie Walters and Clarke Peters playing the leads, Truelove is an exciting addition to Channel 4’s upcoming portfolio of dramas. I can’t wait to see the series come to life.”
Charlie Covell, co-creator of Truelove commented: “I’m so thrilled that we’re making Truelove with and for Channel 4. I owe my career to the channel: from the 4Screenwriting course with Philip Shelley, to my first solo credit on Russell T Davies’ Banana, to The End of the F***ing World. Iain and I also got our first joint writing credit on C4, with Humans. It’s a great privilege to be working with the channel again: I can’t think of a more appropriate home for Truelove.”
Julie Walters said: “I had basically withdrawn from acting and wasn’t sure that anything could tempt me back but then I read Truelove. I was completely bowled over by the writing – the dark humour, the love story and thriller element set against a backdrop of what happens to us all as we approach our later years.
“I adore the character of Phil – smart, funny and hard edged. How often does one have the chance at my tender age to play a leading lady in a TV drama? I can’t wait to start and to work with Channel 4 again, a broadcaster with a remit that is so vital to the industry and viewers.”
Clarke Peters commented: “If your friend reached a soul-destroying level of decrepitude, could you help them transition, if asked? Would it be right, would it be noble, could you do it? Which of that internal triumvirate do you listen to: your head, heart or soul?
“You know it is illegal in law and scripture to take a life, but could you do it? Iain and Charlie’s story explores that moral dilemma in a way I’ve never seen before. It’s funny, it’s dark and it’s full of twists and turns. And DAMN! To tell this story, with this cast, was something I would have dreaded missing out on…Roll on “action”!”
Broadcast details are to be announced in due course.