The Thick of It’s Vincent Franklin and former Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh are to star in Russell T Davies’ new gay-themed drama, Cucumber.
The eight-part series is currently filming in Manchester for broadcast on Channel 4 in 2015.
A youth-orientated companion show, Banana, will start filming next month for transmission on E4.
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…
Channel 4 says Cucumber will explore the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life for Henry, Lance and co, while Banana will follow the individual lives of characters orbiting around Henry’s world.