New comedy Pramface coming to BBC Three

by Lisa McGarry

Pramface is a fresh new six-part comedy series for BBC Three about two teenagers trying, and often failing, to come to terms with impending parenthood.

Scarlett Alice Johnson (EastEnders, Adulthood) as Laura Derbyshire and Sean Verey (Skins, Casualty, The Bill) as Jamie Prince, lead an ensemble cast. Angus Deayton (Have I Got News For You, One Foot In The Grave) and Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings And A Funeral, St Trinians) take on the roles of Laura’s parents and Ben Crompton (All Or Nothing, Clocking Off) and Bronagh Gallagher (The Commitments, Tamara Drew) as Jamie’s.

The cast also includes rising stars Yasmin Paige (Submarine), Dylan Edwards (Ideal, Peep Show, Misfits) and Emer Kenny (EastEnders) as friends of the parents to be.

Laura, 18, and Jamie, 16, meet at a sixth form party after completing their respective A-Level and GCSE exams. But little can prepare them for the result of their brief, drunken hook-up.

From the moment Laura discovers she is pregnant, the series follows the couple as they face the big moments and even bigger decisions about life and responsibility across those all important nine months.

Janet and Alan, whose marriage is already feeling the strain after an extramarital affair, are not thrilled by their daughter’s revelation. As far as they’re concerned Laura’s decision to keep the baby and become a single mother means she’s ruined her life and, more importantly, theirs.

Keith and Sandra, take it a bit more in their stride. They had Jamie young themselves, and although they were shocked by the news, they’re proud of the way he’s responded to the situation. They are trying to see the positive side of things, but Sandra’s not pleased at the thought of being a granny in her late 30s.

It’s also particularly bad news for Beth, Jamie’s smart and loyal friend who has always seen herself as the ‘girlfriend-in-waiting’. She’s been biding her time, gradually plucking up the courage to tell him how she feels, but she hadn’t prepared for Jamie getting some other girl pregnant.

Mike, Jamie’s best mate and the epitome of the awkward teen, is also devastated by news of Jamie’s impending parenthood as it closes down so many possibilities in his own life. Without his wingman he doesn’t see now he’s ever going to get laid.

Although Danielle is Laura’s mate and says she will support her, her main concern is having fun. She really doesn’t understand her mate’s anxieties and is happy to help as long as it doesn’t get in the way of her social life.

With meddling parents, hormonally-driven friends, money worries, first jobs and university thrown into disarray, it’s going to be a trying nine months for these two entangled teens.

The Cast

Scarlett Alice Johnson is Laura Derbyshire

Laura has everything going for her. After years of conscientious study she excelled in her exams and in a few weeks she’ll be escaping home for university and independence.

This is all coming at the right time for Laura, as her relationship with her warring parents is at an all time low. So despite being grounded, when she’s invited to the party of the summer Laura sneaks out, determined to cut loose and have some fun.

Weeks pass and Laura realises something is amiss, and when a pregnancy test confirms her fears, she desperately tries to piece together the events of that night. She’s horrified when she discovers that the fun, cute guy from the party is in fact a 16 year old boy.

This year was supposed to be the great springboard to independence, a chance for her to leave her old life behind and start enjoying being young, free and single. But now she has to come to terms with the fact she’s not going to be alone again for a very long time.

Sean Verey is Jamie Prince

Exams are over and Jamie’s determined to make the most of his summer. He frankly can’t believe his luck. He’s crashed a sixth form party, expecting to be chucked out, but instead, thanks to a combination of inebriated reckless abandonment on Laura’s part, plus bad lighting, he’s about to lose his virginity and finally use that condom he’s been optimistically carrying around in his wallet.

However, the next morning, worried that a now-sober Laura may react badly to the revelation he’s only 16, he leaves before she wakes. But not before scribbling his number down in the unlikely event she wants to see him again. He’s therefore doubly stunned when Laura does eventually call him a few weeks later with the news that he is going to be a dad.

But Jamie’s a good lad and he’s determined to do the right thing. He’s just not sure what that is yet.

Anna Chancellor is Janet Derbyshire

Having given up her career and watched her marriage gradually crumble away, Laura was the last thing in her life for which Janet felt unadulterated pride, and this is a particularly heavy blow for her.

While Janet tells Laura that they will support whatever decision she makes, what she really wants is for her to end the pregnancy and get everything back on the right track – her track.

Angus Deayton is Alan Derbyshire

Corporate lawyer Alan is appalled that his daughter is about to become a teenage mum. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time: his marriage is coming apart following his wife’s discovery that he had an affair with his paralegal from work.

Alan was never exactly a hands-on parent and he is not looking forward to the arrival of a grandchild, especially one that might cause him social and professional embarrassment.

Bronagh Gallagher is Sandra Prince

Sandra is a pragmatic, straight talking, loving, but no-nonsense mum. She’s not exactly delighted with the situation but she’s choosing to embrace it and support her son. She’s proud of the way Jamie has responded – although if he hadn’t done the right thing she would have made sure there was hell to pay.

Ben Crompton is Keith Prince

Keith is a straightforward, honest, hardworking man and this pregnancy was frankly just another thing he didn’t need. Keith’s ambitions don’t usually exceed having a decent cup of tea and a biscuit, and maybe a pint and a game of darts on the weekend.

But even these humble dreams now seem to have been shattered as he faces somewhere between nine months to 18 years of family crisis. He’s going to get his son through it as best as he can, but he’s bracing himself for a rocky ride.

Yasmin Paige is Beth Mitchell

Beth is smarter than most people around her, but never gets taken seriously because she looks much younger than her 16 years. Her unrequited love for Jamie is exquisitely painful for her. These twin frustrations mean Beth has a tendency to ‘go off on one’ at the slightest provocation.

Dylan Edwards is Mike Fenton

Mike is a natural optimist, which is just as well – if he realised what he was really like it would depress him. Mike knows he’s a cool guy, he just can’t understand why the rest of the world hasn’t figured it out yet.

Mike feels Jamie’s pain acutely, not least because of the knock on effect on his own life. He’d been looking forward to a long summer with his best mate, just a couple of guys hanging out, but now that’s all in tatters, and he’s terrified of losing his friend to this girl.

Emer Kenny is Danielle Fox

Danielle is Laura’s best friend. Hedonistic and a bit selfish, Danielle got into irresponsible behaviour at an early age and has perfected the art. She is the epitome of the good time, party girl. She’s profoundly bored by Laura’s endless angsting over her pregnancy and thinks she should just get rid of it and ‘come out on the lash’.