0 3 mins 10 yrs

Alison Steadman & Co begin filming retirement comedy


New BBC One six-part comedy Grey Mates has commenced filming.

Written by Citizen Khan writer Richard Pinto and made by Hat Trick Productions, the series follows the ups and downs of three couples living in Thurnemouth, ‘Norfolk’s only West facing resort’.

The stellar cast includes: Russ Abbot (September Song), Stephanie Beacham (Bad Girls, Dynasty), Philip Jackson (Pete Versus Life, Poirot), James Smith (Grandma’s House, The Iron Lady), Alison Steadman (The Syndicate, Gavin And Stacey), June Whitfield (Absolutely Fabulous, Terry & June) and Paula Wilcox (Mount Pleasant, Emmerdale).

Alan (Jackson) and Joyce (Steadman) are coming at retirement from very different directions. Alan wants to slow down, Joyce wants to speed up. Alan tries to avoid as many of Joyce’s social commitments as possible, but downsizing to a bungalow has meant there are fewer places to hide.

John (Abbot) and Maureen (Beacham), live in their gadget-filled dream house, adventurous in every aspect including the bedroom. For them 60 is the new 40. However, there’s a reminder of what’s around the corner with Maureen’s ever-present Mum Joan (Whitfield).

And finally there’s Trevor (Smith) and Carol (Wilcox) who’ve got non-communication down to such a fine art that if Trevor spent a weekend away, Carol might not even notice. Thirty years of living in each other’s pockets have shown the benefits and drawbacks staying friends over the decades…

As the series opens, it’s Trevor and Carol’s anniversary and Joyce has invited the group to make it a celebration to remember. However, the perfect day is threatened by a series of unfortunate incidents. Each couple takes a long, hard look at who they’ve ended up with; there’s so much more to achieve in their own lives, do they want to spend the rest of it with each other?

Guests stars in the 30-minute episodes include Dudley Sutton (Emmerdale, Lovejoy), Nigel Planer (The Young Ones, I Give It A Year), Marian McLoughlin (Spy, Doctors) and George Layton (EastEnders, Doctor In The House).

Grey Mates will air later on this year.