Are you watching TV’s latest British family drama? Age Before Beauty is quirky and honest and will have you questioning the obsession with staying young…
About the show
Poldark writer Debbie Horsfield penned this miniseries that centres on a family-run beauty salon that’s seen better days. Fresh from sending her twins to university, Bel is asked by her brother-in-law, Teddy, to rescue the business. Behind the salon doors you’ll find her spray tan expert mom, Ivy-Rae, and sisters, Tina who’s a tattooist, manicurist Leanne, and fillers and Botox pro, Heidi. Think dysfunctional families, marriage problems and youth-obsessed women.
Here’s what the actors had to say about the series…
Polly Walker plays Bel
“I play the eldest daughter, who’s brought in to help save the struggling business. She sends her twins to university and that’s where it all begins. She’s been focusing on being a mom and a wife, and now she’s rediscovering who she is and what she wants out of life.
It’s a theme I can definitely relate to. Bel and I are a similar age, my kids are a similar age to hers, and I think all women who have spent years bringing up children suddenly find themselves thinking, ‘Who am I? What am I? What do I like doing?’ You forget because you spend so much energy nurturing other people – and you’re generally last on the list.
There’s not a lot you can do about ageing, is there? It’s going to happen whether you like it or not, so embrace it. Obviously I want to look as good as I can and be as healthy as possible, but I try not to get too caught up on what’s on the outside – and that’s very much the message of the show.
My favourite scene was singing with Robson Green. Although Age Before Beauty is a drama, there are these wonderful moments where we dance together, and a great scene where Robson and I share a song in the car.”
Grantchester’s Robson Green plays Teddy
“On the surface Teddy is a caring, loving individual, but everything isn’t quite as it seems. He’s a pathological liar whose actions are rooted in truth and circumstance; everything he does stems from an absolute devotion to love. He does something so devious, but you understand why he does it and there will be moments where you really care for him.
This character pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I’ve never played sinister in my life; I’m not a sinister person, so I’ve never come close to doing the things that Teddy does. You have to wait for the explosion of emotional trauma.
This drama asks a very poignant but simple question – do you have to stay young and beautiful if you want to be loved? It deals with growing old and whether holding onto a relationship is harder as you get older. We look at the idea of love and circumstance, the notion that you may be in a relationship but all of your life you have loved someone else, which happens.”
Lisa Riley plays Tina
“When I received the Age Before Beauty script, it completely consumed me. The twists and the turns of the plot, the incredible writing, the phenomenal cast – it was all there.
Out of all the cast, I spent the longest time in hair and make-up. I had hand and wrist tattoos, which had to be redone more or less every day. I also had body, chest and arm tattoos, which lasted for about five showers. I had to go to my birthday party during filming with all these tattoos, which raised a few eyebrows!
Our obsession with looking young is a big theme in the show. I’ve been open about having skin surgery after losing over 70kg, but I haven’t, as yet, had Botox or fillers. It scares me how young people are going with it now – people talk about having a boob job like it’s popping to the shop for some milk.
The big twist in the series comes later on and it’s a proper “What?” moment. You don’t see it coming at all.”
Age Before Beauty airs every Monday at 8.30pm on ITV Choice, DStv channel 123