Advanced Television

BBC orders Mr Loverman

June 6, 2023

The BBC and Fable Pictures have announced new drama series Mr Loverman, based on the acclaimed 2013 novel by the Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, for BBC One and iPlayer.

Lennie James will star as the protagonist, Barrington Jedidiah Walker, in the eight-part drama adapted by Nathaniel Price. Filming will begin later this year, with further casting to be announced in due course. Sony Pictures Television (SPT) will distribute the series internationally.

Seventy years old, Antiguan born, exuberant Hackney personality, Barry is renowned for his dapper taste and fondness for retro suits. Carmel, his wife of 50 years, senses that Barry has been cheating on her with other women. Little does she know what’s really going on: a secret, decades-long passionate affair with his best friend and soulmate, Morris. Now entering the next chapter of his life, Barry has big choices to make that will force his whole family to question their own futures. Bringing to life Evaristo’s ground-breaking exploration of Britain’s older Caribbean community, Mr Loverman paints an incisive portrait of a family, exploring aspirations and regret, parenthood, and social expectations about sexual orientation and love.

Evaristo said: “I am thrilled that Mr Loverman is being adapted into television drama. 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…”

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, says: “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.”

Mr Loverman (8×30’) will be directed by Hong Khaou. It will be executive produced by Faye Ward, Hannah Farrell and Hannah Price for Fable Pictures, and Jo McClellan for the BBC. James will executive produce and Price will associate produce. Fable Pictures is a SPT-backed company.

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