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Kay Mellor’s pregnancy drama announces all-star cast


Casting for Kay Mellor‘s new six-part BBC One drama, In The Club has been announced with Spooks star Hermione Norris leading the cast of six expectant couples.

The stellar line-up also includes: Tara Fitzgerald, Jill Halfpenny, Katherine Parkinson, Will Mellor, Jonathan Kerrigan, Christine Bottomley, Luke Thompson, Taj Atwal, Sacha Dhawan and newcomer Hannah Midgley.

A seemingly straightforward antenatal group reveals secrets and lies bubbling beneath the surface that threaten each of the new families. In sharing the most intimate of experiences, they are shown how dreams can change in an instant and form a life-long bond and friendship.

Ben Stephenson, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, says: “Kay has woven an utterly compelling, hilarious and dramatic series that, through the story of a group of pregnant women, showcases human life in all of its joy and tragedy.”

Kay Mellor OBE (The Syndicate, A Passionate Woman), adds: “This is a subject matter which is very dear to my heart. Having given birth at 16 and being absolutely terrified, I’m able to lay a few personal ghosts to rest exploring the ultimate creation. The very nature of giving birth is deeply emotional, rich with drama, humour and pathos. It’s a life-changing experience.

“I’m really excited by the calibre of cast we’ve attracted; the level of talent is staggering. I feel flattered and honoured to have such amazing actors bringing my characters to life.”

Business woman Roanna (Hermione Norris), who has two grown-up children, now finds herself pregnant again, this time to Simon (Luke Thompson), her young artist lover. She’s prepared to walk away from it all – the business, the money, and her rich soon-to-be-ex husband – as long as she can do it in her Louboutin shoes.

Diane (Jill Halfpenny) and Rick (Will Mellor) are expecting their ‘miracle’ child, having been told they would never conceive. But as a late scan reveals more than they bargained for, husband Rick hides an even bigger surprise.

The complications and traumas of same-sex parenting are an increasing battle for Susie (Tara Fitzgerald) and Kim (Katherine Parkinson), who are expecting their second child to the same biological father. This time it’s teaching assistant Kim who is pregnant, but the arrangement with Susie’s ex and sperm donor Neil (Jonathan Kerrigan) is not quite what it seems.

Everything’s worked out perfectly for beautiful Yasmin (Taj Atwal) and her husband Dev’s (Sacha Dhawan) arranged marriage – clearly their parents did know best – and they are now expecting their ‘honeymoon baby’. But there’s a question mark over her due date and the maths doesn’t quite work.

Schoolgirl Rosie (Hannah Midgley) has been hiding her pregnancy from everyone – the school, her lorry driver father and even her unborn baby’s father.

Then of course there’s midwife Vicky (Christine Bottomley). As a parent craft teacher, she’s coached countless women through their labours, but secretly she’s terrified of her own imminent birth. Her fellow midwives have a shock in store when they find out who the mystery father of her baby is.

As the women grow, so does the humour; every pain and twinge signals imminent birth and partners panic that they’ll have to play midwife. New friendships are forged as each couple supports one another in these changing times. Straining waistbands and popping buttons reveal changing bodies that will never look the same. In The Club’s parents-to-be start to question their instincts, experience and expectations, and pregnancy websites and blogs become as important as midwives and doctors.

Filming of In The Club, from Rollem Productions, begins in and around Leeds from January for transmission on BBC One in 2014.

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