Men Up, a feature-length BBC drama written by Matthew Barry (Industry, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), follows five Welshmen who take part in a trial for a brand new drug which will later become Viagra.


The fascinating tale, which merges real and fictional details, explores how the lives of both the patients and medics involved were changed substantially, and how the drug impacted the wider world.

Read on for everything you need to know about Men Up, including when you can watch it and who stars.

Men Up release date: When will it air?

You can watch it on Friday 29th December at 9pm on BBC One.

Men Up cast: Who stars?

Colin White (STEFFAN RHODRI), Tommy Cadogan (PAUL RHYS), Meurig Jenkins (IWAN RHEON), Eddie O’Connor (MARK LEWIS JONES), Peetham ‘Pete’ Shah (PHALDUT SHARMA) pose for a press shot for Men Up. They are looking at a pile of blue pills which are Viagra.

The cast is as follows:

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  • Iwan Rheon
  • Alexandra Roach
  • Steffan Rhodri
  • Lisa Palfrey
  • Phaldut Sharma
  • Alex Riley
  • Paul Rhys
  • Aneurin Barnard
  • Joanna Page
  • Mark Lewis Jones
  • Nathan Sussex
  • Dyfan Dwyfor
  • Katy Wix

Men Up plot: What's it about?

Cast of Men Up walking up a residential road together
Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson

The drama tells the true story of one of the very first medical trials for the drug that would go on to become Viagra, which took place in Morriston Hospital in Swansea, 1994.

"People hear the word impotence, and they wait for the punchline," said Barry. "But this story is about so much more."

Executive producer Rachel Evans added: "This little-known story deserves to be shouted from the rooftops and Matthew Barry's deft writing has brought a human, hilarious slice of Swansea in the '90s to life."

The film delves into the lives of five everyday men, examining why they decide to sign up to experiment, as well as exploring how those closest to them are impacted – and how the drug changed the world.

Men Up trailer: Can I watch it?

Yes, here's a taste of what to expect from the drama.

Men Up is on BBC One on Friday 29 December at 9pm. 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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