Poldark and Cutting It writer Debbie Horsfield is working on a salon-based drama for BBC1

Age Before Beauty is set in a Manchester beauty salon and follows up the writer’s much-loved noughties drama about a hairdressing business in the same city


Poldark scriptwriter Debbie Horsfield is penning a new BBC1 drama set in a Manchester salon.


Age Before Beauty is set in a failing family-run beauty business and reunites Horsfield with the team behind the much-loved hit show Cutting It which was set in a Manchester hairdressers.

The as-yet-uncast drama revolves around Bel, who has been married to Wesley for 25 years, and decides to rescue the family salon after her children have all left home.

Other characters include Teddy, Bel’s brother-in-law and long-time best friend and mother Ivy-Rae (a body building coach and spray tan technician).

Also featuring are sisters Leanne (part- time nail-technician, part-time personal stylist), Tina (“body artist” aka tattooist) and Heidi (fillers and Botox, cosmetic surgery addict) who is mother to Disney – a 7-year-old wannabe pageant queen. Into the mix comes beautiful 20-something personal trainer Lorelei who catches Wes’s eye.

According to the BBC the series will explore the “fascination with staying young, a fear of ageing, instant gratification and long-term relationships in an irresistible setting”.

The statement added: “Family feuds and bitter rivalries, professional and personal, escalate as we follow the lives and loves of the workers in the salon amongst the botox, fillers and face-lifts. Will secrets and lies destroy the family – or liberate it?  Can Bel reconcile the demands of her business, her warring family and the problems in her marriage?”

Age Before Beauty will be made by the indie Mainstreet Pictures which is run by Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes, who were BBC executives when Cutting It aired on BBC1 between 2002 and 2005. The drama (pictured below) starred Amanda Holden, Sarah Parish, Jason Merrells and Angela Griffin.


Debbie Horsfield said of the new show: “I’m thrilled to be working with long-term colleagues Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes again. This will be our first collaboration since Cutting It, and we’re looking forward to turning the spotlight on the subject of ageing: growing older gracefully – or disgracefully!”

Laura Mackie added: “Debbie is writing at the top of her game and in Age Before Beauty she’s created a colourful and memorable set of characters and a story that examines our obsession with the ageing process in an emotional, entertaining and surprising way.”

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content said: “Age Before Beauty has it all – a dysfunctional family, bitter rivalries and botox! BBC1 is the proud home of Debbie Horsfield’s new contemporary series that is set to be the Cutting It for a new generation.”


While Age Before Beauty is in production, there is the small matter of Poldark’s return to BBC1. Series two begins on September 4th, 2016 with Aidan Turner once again leading the cast.