The BBC, in partnership with Fable Pictures, renowned for their works like “Wild Rose” and “Rocks,” has recently revealed plans to develop a new drama series titled “Mr Loverman.” The series will be based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same name, written by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo. The show is set to air on BBC One and will also be available for streaming on iPlayer.
The lead role of the exuberant protagonist, Barrington Jedidiah Walker, will be portrayed by Lennie James, known for his outstanding performances in “Save Me” and “Line of Duty.” The eight-part drama series is being adapted by Nathaniel Price, renowned for his work on “The Outlaws” and “Noughts & Crosses.” Filming for the series is scheduled to commence later this year, and additional casting announcements will follow in due course. The international distribution of the series will be handled by Sony Pictures Television (SPT).
“Mr Loverman” presents a heartwarming tale that delves into themes of family, love, and staying true to oneself. The story revolves around the charismatic protagonist, Barrington Jedidiah Walker, also known as Barry to his friends. However, Barry’s zestful nature causes trouble within his relationships, including his wife, daughters, and lover. At the age of seventy and hailing from Antigua, Barry embodies the spirit of Hackney, exuding charm and donning retro suits with panache. Unbeknownst to his wife, Carmel, whom he has been married to for half a century, Barry has been engaged in a secret and passionate affair spanning several decades with his best friend and soulmate, Morris. As he embarks on the next phase of his life, Barry finds himself facing significant choices that will compel his entire family to question their own futures.
“Mr Loverman” portrays the vibrant older Caribbean community in Britain, as originally explored in Bernardine Evaristo’s groundbreaking novel. The series provides a perceptive depiction of a family grappling with aspirations, regrets, parenthood, and societal expectations regarding sexual orientation and love.
Expressing her delight at the adaptation of her work into a television drama, Bernardine Evaristo shares, “I am thrilled that Mr Loverman is being adapted into television drama. I love the idea of them stepping beyond the pages of the novel and into people’s living rooms and lives.”
Lennie James, excited to take on the role of Barrington, states, “I can’t wait to get Barrington’s swagger on and help tell this crucial and complicated love story. As funny as it is sad. As full of heart as it is heartache…”
Nathaniel Price, the screenwriter for “Mr Loverman,” adds, “From the moment I read Mr Loverman, I fell in love with Barry, Morris, Carmel, and the entire Walker family. Bernardine’s novel is not only a beautiful, truthful story, full of deeply human characters, it is a vitally important one. It is unflinching in its challenge of cultural myths and stereotypes and an exhibition of just how deep and far-reaching the consequences of prejudice and fear can be. It has been an honor and a privilege to have had the chance to adapt this seminal work with the brilliant team at Fable to bring these unforgettable characters to life on screen.”
Fable Pictures’ Executive Producer, Faye Ward, expresses her enthusiasm for the project, stating, “We have long been fans of both Bernardine Evaristo’s work and the indomitable Lennie James – to bring the two together in an adaptation of Mr Loverman for the BBC with Nathaniel Price’s superb scripts has been a highlight of Fable Pictures to date. It’s got everything you could wish for in its rich and beautiful story and dives right to the heart of family with all its complexities.”
Lindsay Salt, the Director of BBC Drama, commends the collaboration, stating, “Mr Loverman is a must-read novel, and in the skilled hands of Nathaniel, Lennie, and the Fable team, it’s soon to be must-see television. I can’t think of a more perfect team to bring Bernardine’s exquisite story to the screen.”
Directed by Hong Khaou, known for his work on “Baptiste,” “Lilting,” and “Monsoon,” “Mr Loverman” will comprise eight episodes, each running for 30 minutes. The series will be executive produced by Faye Ward, Hannah Farrell, and Hannah Price for Fable Pictures, along with Jo McClellan for the BBC. Lennie James will also serve as an executive producer, and Nathaniel Price will be associated with the production. Fable Pictures operates under the backing of Sony Pictures Television (SPT).