Kay Mellor – the creator of Fat Friends, In the Club and Love, Lies & Records – is back with yet another new series: Girlfriends.
The ITV drama follows Linda, Sue and Gail as they struggle with the changes and responsibilities that come with being a modern woman in the "sandwich generation" – in other words, they’re caring for both their grandchildren and their own ageing parents.
After the dramatic and sudden death of her husband Micky, Linda rekindles her friendship with childhood pals Sue and Gail.
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Each woman has their own obstacles, which range from divorce to age discrimination at work.
But the biggest problem of all comes when questions over the circumstances of Micky’s death start to be asked, and the Girlfriends’ friendship is tested.
The cast is led by a trio of veteran British actresses – meet the Girlfriends below before the new series begins on Wednesday 3rd January 2018 on ITV.
Phyllis Logan as Linda Hutchinson
Linda’s been a stay-at-home mum most of her life and is a bit of a technophobe. She’s very reliant on her husband Micky who’s the breadwinner and does all the paperwork. She’s also a bit of a hippy and, as a kid, formed a band with Gail and Sue after they met a youth centre.
Where do I recognise Phyllis Logan from?
Logan is best known for her roles as Maggie Smart in The Good Karma Hopsital and as Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey. She made numerous appearances in Silent Witness and had a stint on Holby City in 1999. Before that she played Lady Jane Felsham in the 80s series Lovejoy.
Miranda Richardson as Sue Thackery
The editor of a bridal magazine, Sue is glamorous and successful. Her married business partner John, whom she launched the magazine with, is also her lover. Over the years, Sue has slightly neglected her friendship with Linda and Gail to focus on her job.
Where do I recognise Miranda Richardson from?
You might have seen Richardson in the 2004 mini-series Mapp & Lucia and in this year's movies Churchill and iBoy. She also earned Oscra nominations for her roles in 90s movies Damage and Tom & Viv.
Zoë Wanamaker as Gail Stanley
Gail has worked hard all her life and is trying to enjoy retirement – but finds herself spread thin what with caring for her elderly mother Edna and her grandson. She also works shifts as a lollipop lady to pay the bills. To top it all off, Gail is finalising her divorce with her second husband, Dave.
Where do I recognise Zoë Wanamaker from?
My Family has to be Wanamaker’s most famous show, in which she played the legendary, scatty Susan Harper. Wanamaker also appeared as flying instructor Madame Hooch in the Harry Potter films. A prolific actress, you might have also seen her in the 90s series Love Hurts or more recently Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Mr Selfridge. She’s also starring in new Sky series Britannia, set for release in 2018.