BBC One series Life will feature two characters from hit series Doctor Foster

Doctor Foster's Neil Baker arrives in Manchester looking for ex-wife Anna.

BBC One, Life cast

Writer Mike Bartlett has revealed Neil Baker will join ex-wife Anna (Victoria Hamilton) in his new series, Life, spun off from Doctor Foster, the BBC One drama series which starred Suranne Jones.

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Adam James will reprise the role of Neil from Doctor Foster (2015 and 2017) when he turns up later in the six-part series Life, which is set in a large house divided into four flats in Manchester.

Anna has renamed herself “Belle” and is trying to rebuild her life after the domestic drama in Doctor Foster when it was discovered Gemma (Jones) had had a one-night stand with Neil.

Victoria Hamilton as Belle in Life
Victoria Hamilton as Belle

Anna has moved to Manchester from Gloucestershire, is working as a pilates instructor and is desperate to rebuild her life. But her new start is compromised by the arrival of troublesome teenage niece Maya (Erin Kellyman) and then Neil. Clearly there is much relationship drama to play out in Belle’s life.

Bartlett said earlier this year: “In the last series of Doctor Foster Anna split up with Neil and moved away. But I loved her as a character and suspected that was really the start of her story, rather than the end.”

While Belle occupies one of the four flats in Life, the other three include Henry (Peter Davison) and wife Gail (Alison Steadman), who is about to turn 70 and who has a chance encounter that turns her life on its head.

David (Adrian Lester) and wife Kelly (Rachael Stirling) live in another flat, but if their marriage is so happy, why is he tempted by Saira (Saira Choudhry) when he meets her on holiday?

Hannah (Melissa Johns) lives in the final flat with “safe and stable” Liam (Joshua James), but her cosy life and happy anticipation of the baby is ruined when Andy (Calvin Demba) shows up. The last time she saw him was nine months ago, when they had a passionate one-night stand.

Producers say as each of the stories unfolds and intertwines in surprising ways in Life, “they tell a larger story about what happens when we step out of our personal space and take a closer look into other people’s lives. Life explores love, loss, birth, death, the ordinary, the extraordinary and everything in between.”

Life will play out over six hour-long episodes on BBC One this autumn.

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