Downton Abbey’s Phyllis Logan to star in ITV drama Girlfriends from Kay Mellor

Zoë Wanamaker, Miranda Richardson and Phyllis Logan star in ITV drama

ITV has confirmed the cast for new six-part drama Girlfriends, from BAFTA award-winning screenwriter Kay Mellor (The Syndicate, In The Club).

Leading the all-star cast will be Phyllis Logan (The Good Karma Hospital, Downton Abbey), Miranda Richardson (Mapp & Lucia, And Then There Were None) and Zoë Wanamaker (Mr Selfridge, My Family) as Linda, Sue and Gail in a story of friendship as they struggle with the responsibilities that come with being a modern woman of a certain age.

After the dramatic and sudden death of Linda’s husband Micky, childhood friends Linda (Logan), Sue (Richardson) and Gail (Wanamaker) find themselves back together again. Each has their own problems to face; from a looming divorce from the husband she still loves and the loss of a high-powered job through age discrimination, to juggling the endless responsibilities of their grandchildren and aging mothers.

As widowed Linda tries to come to terms with being on her own after over 30 years of marriage, she and her girlfriends are horrified to find that this could be the least of her worries. As questions over the circumstances of Micky’s death start to be asked, accusations reveal secrets, deception and doubts that tear at our Girlfriends’ friendship.

Phyllis Logan says: “I’m thrilled to be part of Girlfriends, written by the wonderful Kay Mellor and to be working not only with her but the stellar cast that has been assembled. It’s a hugely exciting project and I feel enormously fortunate to be involved in it. I can’t wait to get started.”

Miranda Richardson comments: “A whole summer spent working on a women-driven script, written and directed by a woman who has proved herself many times over as a force of nature in TV drama alongside some of our most gifted female actors – what’s not to like?”

Zoë Wanamaker adds: “I’m looking forward to working on this exciting new series with such a stellar cast. I have long been a fan of Kay’s work and am relishing the opportunity to work alongside Miranda and Phyllis.”

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 [ITV’s Head of Drama] 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 will love it as much as I’ve loved writing it.”

Girlfriends is a Rollem production and will begin filming in June 2017.