Age Before Beauty is a new drama from Poldark writer Debbie Horsfield, charting the ups, downs, passions and pitfalls of life in a Manchester salon.
Our heroine is Poly Walker’s Bel, the woman whose name heads the family’s business, a down-at-heel beauty salon called Mirrorbel in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
In episode one she is brought in to save the day – ruffling the feathers of her sisters in the process.
The main family, headed by Sue Johnston’s matriarch Ivy-Rae aka “Razors”, is rather large, and none of their personalities could be described as small. So this guide to who’s who should be quite handy…
Polly Walker plays Isabel Finch
Who is Isabel Finch?
Known as Bel, the 47-year-old set up the MirrorBel beauty business in her 20s but hung up her apron for good when she had kids 18 years ago. Married to Wes and mother to twins Lexie and Tyler, she is prone to always seeing the best in people.
Where have I seen Polly Walker before?
A stage and screen veteran, her film credits include Patriot Games and Enchanted April. On TV she has starred in the hit BBC/HBO series Rome as scheming baddie Atia. She also played Mr Selfridge regular Daphne Day on ITV.
James Murray plays Wesley Finch
Who is Wesley Finch?
The handsome 48-year-old is married to Bel and has his own joinery business. Also father to Lexie and Tyler, he’s a loving husband and Dad who always tries to do the right thing. Until he becomes sorely tempted that is…
Where have I seen James Murray before?
Found fame as Corrie’s Sandy Hunter and has appeared in an array of dramas since including North Square, Primeval and New Tricks.
Kelly Harrison plays Leanne Roxton
Who is Leanne Roxton?
The 40-year-old is Bel’s youngest sister. Married to Teddy, she is loud, vain and completely self-obsessed. A nail specialist, her stewardship of the family business has been poor – and now it’s close to bankruptcy.
Where have I seen Kelly Harrison before?
The former model played Casualty paramedic Nikki Marshall and has enjoyed roles in TV dramas Waking the Dead, Born and Bred and Dalziel and Pascoe.
Robson Green plays Teddy Roxton
Who is Teddy Roxton?
The 48-year-old is a charming, attractive, successful businessman. He’s also an inveterate schemer. Married to Leanne, he appears tolerant of her insecurities with regards to Bel and supportive of his wife’s ambitions.
Where have I seen Robson Green before?
Shot to fame as Fusilier Dave Tucker in Soldier, Solider –a move which spawned a successful singing career with co-star Jerome Flynn. Currently starring as detective Geordie Keating in Grantchester.
Lisa Riley plays Tina Regan
Who is Tina Regan?
Tina, 45, is a tattoo artist with a sensible head on her shoulders. She pretends to be a lesbian so that her crazy family don’t quiz her on why she’s still single…
Where have I seen Lisa Riley before?
Best known as Emmerdale’s irrepressible Mandy Dingle, as presenter of You’ve Been Framed and as a Loose Women regular.
Vicki Myers plays Heidi Regan
Who is Heidi Regan?
A single 35-year-old and mother to Disney, she’s a cosmetic surgery addict with a powerful desire to be a footballer’s wife. She also obsesses about entering her daughter into beauty pageants.
Where have I seen Vicky Myers before?
You may have seen the Australian actress as Selena Callaway in the TV drama The Five. She also appeared in 2016 ITV drama Paranoid.
Sue Johnston plays Ivy-Rae Regan
Who is Ivy-Rae Regan?
In her 60s, she’s a lean, mean fighting machine who more than earns her nickname “Razors”. Married to Chizzler, they have an open relationship driven in large part by Ivy-Rae’s ferocious sex drive. But despite her various dalliances with different men she always seems to return home to Chizzler.
Where have I seen Sue Johnston before?
Shot to fame playing Sheila Grant in Brookside in the early 1980s, she has been a TV fixture ever since. Best known shows include The Royle Family (Barbara Royle), Waking the Dead (Grace Foley), and as icy Miss Denker in Downton Abbey.
Struan Rodger plays Chizzler Regan
Who is Chizzler Regan?
In his 80s, he’s wiry and wheelchair bound. He runs a boxing gym and is married to Ivy-Rae. Since they have an open relationship he has to put a brave face on her numerous sexual conquests. He’s particularly close to his daughter Bel.
Where have I seen Struan Roger before?
You may recognise him as the running coach Sandy McGrath in the Oscar-garlanded film Chariots of Fire. Since then he has enjoyed a number of roles including providing the voice for Doctor Who’s Face of Boe and for playing Game of Thrones’ Three Eyed Raven before the part was taken over by Max von Sydow.
Madeleine Mantock plays Lorelei Bailey
Who is Lorelei Bailey?
The 28-year-old personal trainer is naturally beautiful, vibrant and charming. She wants to settle down and have a family – but doesn’t know her new man is married when she first embarks on her affair with him.
Where have I seen Madeleine Mantock before?
Best known for her television work on the AMC series Into the Badlands and the revival of The Tomorrow People which aired on E4.
Amir El-Masry plays Dante Shah
Who is Dante Shah?
The toned, handsome 22-year-old is a happy metrosexual, living a champagne lifestyle on a small budget. He’s up to his eyeballs in debt – which explains why he undertakes nefarious work for Teddy.
Where have I seen Amir El-Masry before?
You may recognise him from The Night Manager where he played Youssef. Also played Alireza in Jon Stewart’s film Rosewater.
This article was originally published on 31 July 2018