ITV commissions new drama Love Life

by Lisa McGarry

ITV has commissioned a three part drama about love, romance, family and babies!

Written by Bill Gallagher (The Prisoner, Lark Rise to Candleford) and produced by Red Production Company based in Manchester, Love Life will tell the story of Joe and Lucy’s faltering relationship. Feeling in a good place and as if she’s ready to settle down, Lucy mentions she might stop taking the pill which sends commitment-phobic Joe running for the nearest airport to travel the world and scale Mount Everest before he gets tied down.

Twelve months later, travel-bedraggled Joe returns from trekking in the Himalayas and having conquered Everest to find Lucy has moved on with her ‘love life’. Their eyes meet across a crowded Friday night bar and as they gaze and smile at one another there’s an instant connection. They are clearly still very much in love, but a year has past and so much has happened to both of them.

Lucy is now living with her father, Will, after giving up her job working for husband and wife partnership Dominic and Penny at the Tile Your Life bathroom and kitchen store. Life had become complicated with Dominic as Lucy grew closer to him after Joe had gone travelling. Lonely and craving affection, she began an ill-fated affair with Dom, but knew from the first passionate kiss that what she was doing was wrong and would hurt Penny who she’d once counted as a friend.

Tearing herself away, Lucy pursues her life away from Joe and Dom until Joe steps back into her world and her ‘love life’ becomes complicated once more.

Will Dominic feel he has to tell his wife Penny – who appears to be going through her own mid-life crisis – of his affair with their former employee and her friend? Relying heavily on family, Penny goes to her Mum Liz for life guidance, whilst Joe is now living and working as a scaffolder for his brother Dez (married to Lynda with four children).

Each turn confidante and shoulder to cry and each have their own views on how Joe and Lucy should unravel their entangled and problematic romantic lives. Whilst travelling, Joe has also met attractive lumber-jack shirted Alex who is younger than him and more like him than he cares to admit. He knows all he needs do is click his fingers and Alex would be happy to fall into his arms. But Joe still wants lovely Lucy, the woman he really loves with all her life baggage and complications.

The drama will intercut between present day and flashback to the previous twelve months as we piece together the jigsaw that is their lives.

“It’s going to be a painful and heart-wrenching journey, but it’s a romantic comedy so there’s lots of moments that will make you smile as Joe and Lucy search for harmony and happiness, “ said Red Production Company’s Chief Executive Nicola Shindler, who will execute produce Love Life.

“We’re delighted to be filming in Manchester again for ITV after the success of Scott & Bailey. Love Life is also a relationship based drama, but on this occasion it’s a very tangled love life we’re aiming to unravel,” she added.

Love Life has been commissioned for ITV by Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie and controller of Drama Commissioning Sally Haynes.

“Love Life is a tender and funny story about grown-ups who refuse to grow up,” said Laura. “We’re delighted with Bill’s scripts as they are warm, romantic and comic as he analyses how good people come to terms with the trials of love. We’re delighted to commission Love Life for ITV1 viewers,” she added.

Love Life will go into production at the end of October 2011 for six weeks on location in Manchester.

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