Lennie James has signed on to executive produce and star in a BBC adaptation of celebrated novel Mr Loverman.


The actor and writer has previously earned acclaim for his Sky thriller Save Me, while sci-fi fans will be aware that he's currently finishing up an extended stint on AMC's Fear the Walking Dead.

Mr Loverman will see him in the role of Barrington Jedidiah Walker, or Barry to his friends, a Caribbean-born man residing in Hackney with his wife of 50 years, Carmel (not yet cast).

She is aware that he is cheating on her, but is shocked to discover that his partner in the affair is his male best friend, Morris, and that their relationship has been going on for decades right under her nose.

The marriage implodes shortly after, leaving Barry to contemplate what the next – and possibly final – chapter of his life will look like.

Bernardine Evaristo penned the novel of the same name, which was first published a decade ago, while the author is also known for her more recent work Girl, Woman, Other, which jointly won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2019.

James said: “I can't wait to get Barrington's swagger on and help tell this crucial and complicated love story. As funny as it is sad. As full of heart as it is heartache.”

The scripts for this adaptation will be handled by Nathaniel Price, known for his work on fellow BBC dramas Noughts + Crosses and The Outlaws, while Baptiste director Hong Khaou will helm the project.

Price commented: “From the moment I read ‘Mr Loverman’ I fell in love with Barry, Morris, Carmel and the entire Walker family. Bernardine’s novel is not only a beautiful, truthful story, full deeply human characters, it is a vitally important one.

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"It is unflinching in its challenge of cultural myths and stereotypes, and an exhibition of just how deep and far-reaching the consequences of prejudice and fear can be.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to adapt this seminal work with the brilliant team at Fable to bring these unforgettable characters to life on screen.”

Mr Loverman will consist of eight 30-minute episodes due to start filming later this year, with supporting cast members to be announced in due course. No release date has been set at this time.

Evaristo added: "I am thrilled that Mr Loverman is being adapted into television drama. I love the idea of them stepping beyond the pages of the novel and into people’s living rooms and lives."

Mr Loverman is coming soon to the BBC. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.

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