Cast for Michaela Coel-led BBC drama announced

January 22nd will star Coel alongside Aml Ameen, Weruche Opia and Paapa Essiedu

A NEW BBC drama written and starring Michaela Coel is officially underway – and the supporting cast has officially been announced.

January 22nd is a fearless, frank and provocative drama that explores the question of sexual consent in contemporary life and how, in the new landscape of dating and relationships, we make the distinction between liberation and exploitation.

Bafta award-winning Coel (Black Earth Rising, Chewing Gum) leads the cast in the role of Arabella. She will be joined by Weruche Opia (Inside No. 9, Sliced) and Paapa Essiedu (Kiri, Press) as well as Aml Ameen (Yardie, Mazerunner), Adam James (Belgravia, Doctor Foster), Sarah Niles (Catastrophe, Rocks) and Ann Akin (Strike: Career Of Evil, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams: The Commuter).

Also starring are Harriet Webb (White Gold, Plebs), Ellie James (Giri/Haji, Strike: Career Of Evil), Franc Ashman (Peep Show, Apple Tree Yard), Karan Gill (Flesh And Blood), Natalie Walter (Horrible Histories, Jonathan Creek) and Samson Ajewole, who makes his television debut.

Set in London, where gratification is only an app away, the story centres on Arabella (Coel), a care-free, self-assured Londoner with a group of great friends, a holiday fling-turned aspirational boyfriend in Italy, and a burgeoning writing career. But when she is spiked with a date-rape drug, she must question and rebuild every element of her life.

Feted as the ‘voice of her generation’, Arabella is complex, original and highly talented. But, distracted by the pressures of her first triumph, she is struggling to write her second novel and is in danger of becoming destructive and self-absorbed.

After being sexually assaulted in a nightclub, her life changes irreversibly and Arabella is forced to reassess everything: her career, her friends, even her family. As she struggles to come to terms with what has happened, Arabella begins a journey of self-discovery.

Speaking on the drama, Michaela Coel says: “We’re incredibly lucky to have pulled together such a talented cast to bring these scripts to life and I look forward to sharing this work with you all next year.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, comments: “We’re thrilled to be working with someone as bold and fearless as Michaela, she has created an ultra-contemporary show which explores the issues of her generation with huge compassion, humour and a raw truthfulness. It’s an incredibly urgent story which the BBC are proud to be telling.”

Amy Gravitt, EVP, HBO Programming, adds: “It’s been thrilling to be a part of bringing Michaela’s vision to life. She writes with such intimacy and immediacy about how we treat one another, while always surprising us with moments of levity.”

The series is a BBC and HBO co-production. It has been commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of Content and Piers Wenger, Controller of Drama for BBC One and produced by Various Artists Ltd and FALKNA for the BBC and HBO.

It is executive produced by Michaela Coel for FALKNA Productions, Phil Clarke and Roberto Troni for Various Artists Ltd, and Piers Wenger and Jo McClellan for BBC One.

January 22nd will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution, excluding the UK and Ireland where the series will be distributed by BBC Studios. BBC Studios brokered the deal with HBO for US, Canada and International distribution.

Comments Form

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Support The Voice

The Voice Newspaper is committed to celebrating black excellence, campaigning for positive change and informing the black community on important issues. Your financial contributions are essential to protect the future of the publication as we strive to help raise the profile of the black communities across the UK. Any size donation is welcome and we thank you for your continued support.

Support Sign-up

Related