Brand new ITV drama Maternal kicks off this week, following three mothers as they juggle their lives as new mothers with returning to work in a post-pandemic world of frontline medicine.


The series stars Parminder Nagra as Maryam, Lisa McGrillis as Helen and Lara Pulver as Helen, as well as another well-known actor: Pulver's real-life husband, Raza Jeffrey.

Jeffrey stars as Jack Oliviera, a fellow doctor in City General Hospital and one of Catherine’s romantic interests, and there's plenty of chemistry between the pair, if our recent exclusive clip is anything to go by.

Speaking about the show and how it reflects current pressures on the NHS, Pulver recently told "I think the NHS is in absolute crisis."

She continued: "Having lived in the States now for 12 years, I have such a respect for and appreciation for the NHS, because the US healthcare system is so divided between haves and have-nots, and it's heartbreaking."

She added: "And the fact that we have the NHS, even when it's failing, it’s still operating on some level – my mother-in-law was in hospital recently and there were 180 patients being admitted into that A&E that day. Maternal is absolutely shining a spotlight on the NHS in a celebratory way just as much as in an eye-opening way."

Maternal boasts a stellar cast with an important plot line, but what more can viewers expect from the new ITV drama and when does it air?

Read on to find out everything you need to know about Maternal.

Maternal release date

Maternal ITV
The main cast of ITV's Maternal. ITV

ITV has confirmed that the new medical drama will premiere on ITV1 and ITVX on Monday 16th January at 9pm.

The series was first announced in July 2022 and will consist of six episodes. It has been written by Jacqui Honess-Martin, directed by James Griffiths and executive produced by Patrick Spence.

Speaking about the drama at the time of commissioning, ITV's head of drama, Polly Hill, commented: "Jacqui's scripts are brilliant, and they perfectly capture how difficult it can be for women juggling family life, whilst under pressure at work, making critical life or death decisions.

"It's hard to believe this is her first television drama. I'm thrilled Parminder, Lara and Lisa will lead our cast and to be working with Patrick Spence and James Griffiths on what promises to be a modern and engaging medical drama."

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Who stars in Maternal?

ITV Maternal cast
ITV's Maternal. ITV

The cast of Maternal is led by three very familiar faces for any drama lover. Parminder Nagra stars as Dr Maryam Afridi, while The Split's Lara Pulver is Catherine MacDiarmid and King Gary's Lisa McGrillis is Dr Helen Cavendish.

The following cast members have also been confirmed for Maternal.

  • Raza Jaffrey as Jack Oliviera
  • Chris Oliver as Cavendish
  • Abhin Galeya as Raz Farooqu
  • Julie Graham as Susan Fisher
  • Alexander Karim as Lards Nordstrom
  • Aurora Jones as Maggie Cavendish
  • Mat Fraser as Steve
  • Hayden Gwynne as Anne MacDiarmid
  • Matilda Ziegler as Becky Hillford
  • Shaheen Khan as Sania Masoom
  • Sabina Arthur as Kim Allerton
  • Dean Ridge as Simon Segman
  • D’Vante Hart as Edward
  • Cheryl Mackie as Mrs Williams
  • Darren Hart as Mr Williams
  • Cleo Sylvestre as Mrs Osei
  • Jennifer Macbeth as Tessa Joseph
  • Elizabeth Dulau as Louise Pennycook
  • Stephanie Jacob as Mrs Smith
  • Joe Thomas as Mat Malyon
  • Guy Rufus Williams as Prof Thomas
  • Bill Skinner as Will
  • Elan Butler as Freddie

What is Maternal about?

Maternal tells the stories of the three leading doctors as they each attempt to balance their increasingly demanding jobs in post-pandemic frontline medicine with their lives as new mothers. It's a series concerned with motherhood, as much as it is about the NHS and the intense demands of working in it.

According to the synopsis: "Maternal explores working motherhood with wit, warmth and humour and offers a unique perspective on our beloved, overstretched NHS, and the people who hold it together. Sometimes."

Speaking about Maternal, which is her first work for television, writer Jacqui Honess-Martin told ITV: “I am thrilled to bring this funny, warm and quietly political story to ITV. It’s been humbling to have the opportunity to hear the stories of so many brave and brilliant female doctors working in the NHS over the past two years and I know the incredible team working on this show will do them proud.”

Maternal trailer

A new trailer for Maternal gives us a small insight into the chaotic whirlwind of the series and some of the drama to come. We can't wait.

Watch the trailer below.

Maternal airs on ITV1 and ITVX on Monday 16th January at 9pm. Check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide, or visit our Drama hub for more news and features.


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