Robson Green and Sue Johnston to lead new BBC drama from Poldark writer

Debbie Horsfield's new series Age Before Beauty will also star Lisa Riley and Polly Walker

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Robson Green and Sue Johnston are to lead the cast of a new BBC1 drama from the pen of Poldark writer Debbie Horsfield. 

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The pair will star in Age Before Beauty, a “family saga set in a Manchester salon”, which will air across six-parts and also feature the likes of Polly Walker (Mr Selfridge), Lisa Riley (Three Girls), James Murray (Him) and Kelly Harrison (The Level).

The drama follows Bel (Walker) who is married to Wesley (Murray) and has spent the last 18 years raising their twins. But after they head off to university, Bel’s left with a bit of time on her hands and is persuaded by brother-in-law and best friend Teddy (Green) to step in and rescue the family business – a struggling beauty salon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. 

She obliges and attempts to grapple with a high-maintenance bunch of employees and family members: mother Ivy-Rae (a Northern Soul fanatic and spray tan technician played by Johnston), and sisters Leanne (Harrison), Tina (Riley) and Heidi (Vicki Myers), who is mother to Disney – a plump seven-year-old wannabe pageant queen.

But when beautiful 20-something personal trainer Lorelei (Madeleine Mantock) enters the fold, she catches Wes’s eye and Bel must balance the demands of her business and her warring family with the problems in her marriage. 

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It all sounds like perfect fodder for a BBC drama – and a million miles from Horsfield’s other occupation telling the tale of brooding Ross Poldark atop the cliffs of 18th century Cornwall.