Alison Steadman

Mike Bartlett on how new BBC drama Life is an antidote to social divisions

When Mike Bartlett sent actress Victoria Hamilton the script for his latest television series, Life, she felt a bit confused at first. “I was reading this wonderful character Belle, and I suddenly thought, I know this woman! I emailed Mike and told him she really reminded me of Anna, my character in Doctor Foster. Mike sent me back a very short email, ‘Yes, it is Anna. Anna Belle.’”

Sheridan Smith and Alison Steadman to star in new Jimmy McGovern drama Care

Sheridan Smith, RTS, Awards, 2015,

Based on Juckes’s real-life experiences, Care follows Jenny (Smith) a single mother of two, raising her children with the help of her widowed mother Mary (Steadman). When Mary suffers a devastating stroke and develops dementia, Jenny’s world falls apart, and everything changes for her and her sister Claire (Keenan). Torn between caring for her mother and following her own path, Jenny soon discovers that there could be another option, but it’s one she’ll have to fight for.