Lilies by Heidi Thomas - a new drama series starts Friday 12 January 2007 at 9pm on BBC One
Lilies by acclaimed screenwriter Heidi Thomas (I Capture The Castle, Madam Bovary) is an original eight-part drama series for BBC One by World Productions for BBC Northern Ireland, combining the peerless experience of renowned producer, Tony Garnett (Cathy Come Home, Kes, This Life) with the fresh, raw energy of brand new acting talent.
Tough, sexy, funny and heart-breaking, the series details the lives of Iris, May and Ruby Moss - sisters coming of age in a dockland terraced house. Familial love sustains them, and their fortunes are bound to those of their brother and their father.
Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, says: "Heidi Thomas is a unique and original writing talent, combining in Lilies a meticulous eye for period detail and resonance, and a wonderfully modern wit, emotional intelligence and warmth.
"Her eight-part take on the 1920s is fresh, bold and entertaining, offering a drama to BBC One full of energy, empathy and optimism."
Set in the years immediately following the First World War, Lilies pulls no punches in its storytelling.
It depicts a sensual, vivid and sometimes savage universe – where life is lived on the breadline yet fuelled by various kinds of love. All three girls must make their own way in the world.
Iris (Catherine Tyldesley) makes chocolates, Ruby (Kerrie Hayes) sells, and sometimes models, corsets, and May played by Leanne Rowe (Olivier Twist and Boudica) - seduced by the trappings of a world beyond her grasp - earns her living as a parlour maid.
In the course of the series each of the sisters tastes passion for the first time and their lives, newly launched, are changed forever.
Series author Heidi Thomas says: "Lilies features three wonderful emerging young talents who beat off fierce competition to win their first lead television roles.
"We needed girls who mirrored our characters: they had to be spirited, passionate, strong and pure. We were also looking for luminous, old-fashioned beauty. Catherine, Kerrie and Leanne have these qualities in spades; they are all going to be major stars."
Key cast includes the acclaimed actor Brian McCardie (star of Rob Roy, Kidnapped, Murphy's Law and the Bafta Scotland 2006 award-winning drama Low Winter Sun) as Dadda, the family's charismatic and mercurial father.
Having married very young Dadda is now widowed and his struggle to nurture his unruly children proves both moving and comic.
Daniel Rigby, another sensational newcomer, will star as the family's troubled brother Billy.
Stephen Moyer is Mr Brazendale; Scot Williams is Father Melia; Iain McKee is Frank Gadney and Georgia Taylor (Blackpool, Coronation Street) makes a guest appearance in episode one as Phyllis Cook, Ruby's friend.
In later episodes Kenneth Cranham (The Lavender List, Line Of Beauty) stars as a health inspector set to tear the community apart.
And Pam Ferris (Rosemary And Thyme, Jane Eyre) is Alice the clairvoyant and mother of Miss Bird, played by Gillian Kearney (Hope And Glory, Shameless) who develops a close liaison with Dadda Moss.
Filmed in Liverpool, Lilies is a World/BBC NI production for BBC One.
The directors are David Moore, Roger Goldby, Ferdinand Fairfax and Brian Kelly.
The producer is Chrissy Skinns and executive producers are Heidi Thomas and Tony Garnett (World productions).