When does Butterfly air on ITV, and who’s in the cast? Everything you need to know about the new drama

Anna Friel stars in the new ITV drama written by Tony Marchant about a transgender child

Anna Friel with her Emmy (Getty, EH)

Fresh off of series two of detective drama Marcella, Anna Friel is set to return to ITV to lead new drama Butterfly.


The three-part TV mini-series will be written by Tony Marchant, the playwright behind BBC’s Public Enemies, The Secret Agent, Garrow’s Law and Bafta-winning war film The Mark of Cain. It will centre around Friel as Vicky, the mother of a transgender child.

Find out everything you need to know about Butterfly below.

When is Butterfly on TV?

While a release date has yet to be announced, we expect Butterfly will air later in 2018. Filming on the drama began in January 2018 and lasted eight weeks.

What is Butterfly about?

According to a programme description from ITV, Butterfly “follows the story of an 11-year-old boy, Max, who makes the huge decision that he wants to live life as a girl. He has always dressed as one at home, but now he doesn’t want to hide who he is.”

Friel will play the child’s mother, Vicky, as she attempts to work out how best to support Max’s decision to become Maxine.

Vicky is separated from Maxine’s father, Stephen (Hollyoaks alum Emmett J Scanlan), and the two are fundamentally divided on what they think is best for their child.

“It’s basically a drama about ordinary people put into an extraordinary situation,” Scanlan told Entertainment Focus. “The writing is so real, so relevant, so topical and so brave, which are the reasons why you get involved in projects like this.”

ITV head of drama Polly Hill previously called the series “a heartwarming and emotional script from Tony Marchant that focuses upon gender identity and one boy’s search to be recognised for who he really is.”

Who stars in Butterfly?

The aforementioned Friel and Scanlan will lead the line as separated parents Vicky and Stephen.

Their two children will be played by Millie Gibson and Callum Booth-Ford as Maxine. Scanlan reserved special praise for his co-stars: “[Friel, Gibson and Booth-Ford] are three f***ing heavyweights, and to watch all of them play on set was utterly, utterly remarkable”.

Alison Steadman and Sean McGinley round out the cast.

GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 07: Alison Steadman photographed following her successful performance Blood & Words during poetry event at Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 07, 2017 in Gloucestershire, England.PHOTOGRAPH BY Charlie Bryan / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Charlie Bryan / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Alison Steadman. Photo credit: Charlie Bryan / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Butterfly will premiere on ITV later this year