If you're not already watching Cheaters, a new BBC Three sitcom created by Oliver Lyttelton, firstly have a word with yourself and secondly, go and watch Cheaters, stat!


Once you start, you simply won't be able to stop, which can partly be attributed to the more-ish episode structure. There are 18 of them, each divided into 10-minute chunks.

"It makes you want to just keep going," Joshua McGuire, who stars in the sitcom, told RadioTimes.com. "There's something about the psychology of a 10-minute ep where you're not just going to watch one."

McGuire is one of four leads, Josh, who meets Susan Wokoma's Fola in Finland. She's a travel writer who's there for work, while he took a solo trip after learning that his long-term girlfriend Esther (Callie Cooke) had slept with a female colleague.

They both wind up in a hotel bar after their flight back to London is cancelled, where they drink their bodyweight in liquor before enjoying a night of very messy – and very good – sex.

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Cheaters, BBC Three
Natalie Seery/BBC Studios/Clerkenwell Films

An intimacy coordinator was drafted in to oversee those scenes, which is now largely standard practice. The hire on Cheaters has a background in fight choreography, according to McGuire, which makes a lot of sense when you behold the chaos of Josh and Fola's first romp.

"I've only done one other sex scene in my career and that was like, 'Off you go,'" said Wokoma. "It was pretty embarrassing. And I can't believe that that's kind of been the norm because actually, what having choreography or at least a couple of discussions before means is you feel braver, actually. It made me braver. I'd lost a lot of inhibition in the process at certain points. It's really safe, and everybody's intentions are good, not weird."

On returning to the capital after going their separate ways at the airport, Josh and Fola suffer a gut punch when they discover that they are neighbours, with the latter and her hunk of a husband Zack (Jack Fox) – yes, she's a married woman – having just moved in directly across the street.

But happened in Finland does not stay in Finland.

Cheaters, BBC Three
Ben Meadows/BBC Studios/Clerkenwell Films

Fola and Josh continue to gravitate towards one another, stealing kisses and enjoying passionate sex whenever they can tear themselves away from their respective lives. But in spite of their duplicity, you don't hate the pair, not even in the slightest, which is a surprising development and adds some much needed nuance to discussions about what it means to be unfaithful.

"I can be quite like, 'Cheating's bad,' and it is," said Wokoma. "People get hurt. But what I love is that Oli’s created something where it's non-judgmental. There are loads of reasons why people are not happy and they cheat. I often look at [Josh's girlfriend] Esther and I feel really feel for her. One of my really close friends has been married [to a man] for so long, but she's always had a queer side. How do you explore that while also being married to a man who you love tremendously?

"It’s all really complex, and I'm glad that we're looking at intimacy in that way rather than being black and white with it."

Rather than provide an overarching answer, Cheaters raises a host of questions and leaves viewers to draw their own conclusions.

Cheaters, BBC Three
Ben Meadows/BBC Studios/Clerkenwell Films

McGuire added: "Oli’s acknowledged that two things can exist at the same time in that what Josh and Fola are doing is wrong – or you can debate that because both of them have their reasons."

Josh initially assumes that Fola and Zack's sex life is firing on all cylinders, but he's very much mistaken, and what stems from that strand of the story caught Wokoma well and truly off guard.

"It does take quite a turn that shocked me, and I'm pretty unshockable," she acknowledged.

Viewers will no doubt have the same reaction.

"But while they are being unfaithful, there's romance between them," said McGuire. "It's not just sex. It's not just a dirty thing. There's genuine tenderness between them, which I think is really, really kind of interesting."

Addressing whether Cheaters could return for season 2, McGuire said: "I definitely think where we end up, because you've got these four characters, there's infinite exploring that I think Oli can do. I definitely think there's space to move forward in the future."

Wokoma added: "We're always the first to get asked and the last to find out. I'm going to put my heart on the line and say absolutely, I really hope there is. The main thing is it's a very new format. I think there's only one other show really, State of the Union [starring Rosamund Pike and Chris O'Dowd], that has very short episodes, so I understand it's a bit of a risk, but I hope so."

Cheaters is available to stream now on iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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