Michaela Coel to explore sexual consent in modern relationships in BBC2 drama series

Jan 22nd, from the Chewing Gum and Black Mirror star, is one of three new BBC dramas by female writers


Michaela Coel is to star in her own “fearless, frank and provocative series” exploring the question of sexual consent in contemporary life.


The BBC2 drama, with the working title Jan 22nd, sees Coel as Londoner Arabella whose “personal experience of consent sits at the heart of the story”, which is “set in a world where gratification is only an app away”.

“Through Arabella we meet a group of fictional friends and colleagues whose sexual adventures frequently collide with a world in which new codes of sexual practice are emerging and how, in the new landscape of dating and relationships, we make the distinction between liberation and exploitation,” explains a statement from the BBC.

Chewing Gum creator and star Coel, who is due to give the landmark MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival on Wednesday, said: “I feel weirdly overwhelmed and honoured to be making something again, something I’m making myself, with a great team.”

BBC2 controller Patrick Holland said the new series promised “fearless, provocative and gripping storytelling exploring one of the defining issues of our times”.

The commission is one of three forthcoming dramas announced by the BBC which will be penned by female writers.

BBC1 has given the go-ahead to The Nest, an emotional thriller written by Nicole Taylor (Three Girls, The C Word, Wild Rose).

The six-part drama explores the consequences of a pact between a wealthy couple who are having trouble conceiving and a teenage girl who agrees to carry their child.

The third drama sees Sally Rooney adapting her new novel Normal People for BBC3.


The story follows Marianne and Connell– both from a small west of Ireland town, but from very different backgrounds – as they embark on an on-off romance that starts at school and continues through college.