ITV has commissioned a new three-part drama about the relationship between a 25 year old man and a woman 20 years his senior.
Described as “a powerful relationship drama”, Leaving focuses on 25 year old Aaron who lives with his parents in Warrington.
He’s failed to find work since leaving university and – to cap it all – his ex-girlfriend Phoebe is about to marry his brother. Life’s not panning out the way he’d hoped.
On the night of his brother’s wedding he meets hotel worker Julie, a 45 year old, married mum of two in a passionless marriage.
Professional and with a degree of sympathy, Julie gets the night porter to take him to his room, unaware that this moment was the unlikely start to an unlikely relationship.
The next morning, weighed down with a stinking hangover and and accompanying cloud of self-pity, Aaron cuts a pathetic figure. It takes Julie, back on shift, to delivers some home truths – he needs a reality check.
With those words ringing in Aaron’s ears, the wedding hardens his resolve to find work, leave behind his childhood bedroom, and turn things around. When a job comes up at the hotel, his mate Jonah cajoles him into applying.
Now Aaron and Julie are working together every day. Although Aaron’s tasks are menial, he soon develops an easy rapport with his colleagues and begins to enjoy himself.
Despite this, Julie keeps him slightly at arm’s length – perhaps suspicious that for Aaron this is just a passing job, a gap year of sorts, before he moves onto ‘bigger and better’ things.
For her, this is real – this is her life. But Aaron genuinely starts to take pride in his work, and recognise the reasons Julie finds her job so rewarding.
A bond begins to form and, one night, they share an intimate moment which takes them both by surprise. What follows will have profound implications for both Aaron and Julie as they each come to terms with their actions.
Leaving has been commissioned by ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie and Controller of Drama Commissioning Sally Haynes.
“We’re delighted to be working with Nicola Shindler and Red on Leaving after the success of Scott and Bailey,” said Haynes. It is also a huge coup to have Tony Marchant writing an engaging and romantic piece for the channel.”
“Leaving is an unusual love story set within the tough realities of contemporary Britain,” added Nicola Shindler, who will executive produce on behalf of Red Production Company.
Casting for Leaving will begin this month, with filming due to commence in February for transmission later this year.