Vincent Franklin, Cyril Nri, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Freddie Fox, Fisayo Akinade, Con O’Neill, James Murray and Ceallach Spellman confirmed to star in Cucumber and Banana on Channel 4 and E4.
Star of The Thick of It and Twenty Twelve, Vincent Franklin will join Coronation Street’s Julie Hesmondhalgh in the cast of new Channel 4 drama series Cucumber, from the multi BAFTA award-winning writer of Queer As Folk and Doctor Who, Russell T Davies.
Filming in Manchester has begun on Cucumber (8 x 60’) for broadcast on Channel 4 in 2015, with E4 series Banana (8 x 30’) to start production next month. The cast also includes; Cyril Nri (The Bill), Freddie Fox (Parade’s End), Fisayo Akinade (Fresh Meat), Con O’Neill (Uncle), James Murray (Primeval) and Ceallach Spellman (Waterloo Road).
Life for 46-year-old Henry (Vincent Franklin) and his boyfriend Lance (Cyril Nri) is comfortable and settled. But after the most disastrous date night in history – involving a threesome, two police cars, and Boney M – Henry’s old life shatters, and his new life begins.
While Lance gets to know the mysterious Daniel (James Murray), Henry soon finds himself with unexpected companions. 24-year-old Freddie (Freddie Fox) and 19-year-old Dean (Fisayo Akinade) have only been passing strangers, until now. But when they all find themselves under the same roof, they need to work out; are they friends or enemies? Can men from such different generations ever get on?
Henry’s sister Cleo (Julie Hesmondhalgh) is busy, professional, and a little chaotic. But coping with her three kids is easy compared to helping her brother. And as Henry’s life heads in extraordinary new directions, helped by his nephew Adam (Ceallach Spellman), it becomes clear that Cleo’s hiding one or two secrets of her own…
With the same ferocious wit, startling honesty and heartfelt warmth that made Queer As Folk a landmark Channel 4 series, Cucumber will explore the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life for Henry, Lance and co, while on E4, Banana will follow the individual lives of characters orbiting around Henry’s world. On 4oD, Tofu will be an anarchic and entertaining factual series about sex – from gay to straight, and anything in between – inspired by the dramas each week.
Cucumber, Banana and Tofu were commissioned by Channel 4 Head of Drama Piers Wenger and will be made by RED Production Company with Executive Producers Nicola Shindler, Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies. Tofu will be made by Benjamin Cook (Becoming YouTube).
Cucumber is written by Russell T Davies and produced by Matt Strevens, with directors; David Evans, Alice Troughton and Euros Lyn.
Further details about Banana will be released at a later date.
Cucumber was originally developed by BBC Worldwide Productions. BBC Worldwide will distribute the drama internationally. Further casting to be announced.