Leaving

Monday, 24 September 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Written and created by acclaimed screenwriter Tony Marchant (Mark of Cain, Garrow’s Law, Holding On), award-winning actress Helen McCrory (Hugo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Life) with television newcomer Callum Turner bring to life this gripping character-driven story about the complexities of love, family and growing up.

Full Programme / Episode Description:

Everyone is reeling from the confrontation in the breakfast room. Aaron (Callum Turner) tells his manager, Hugh (Celyn Jones), he wants to leave the management-training programme so he can stay with Julie (Helen McCrory). Hugh says there can be no place for him here any more.

Julie is also summoned to see Hugh, who explains her position is also untenable. He backs her into a corner and Julie knows she has no option but to resign.

Julie returns home and tries to apologise to her family, but they won’t listen and it’s clear she’s not welcome any more. Similarly, Aaron rows with his father, who is furious he has thrown his job away, and Aaron also leaves home. Angela (Sandra Huggett) lets them stay in her spare bedroom. Despite Julie’s pain at leaving her family, she takes refuge with Aaron, and for the first time they can do the things that couples do – eat together, and go to bed at night. They each get temporary work, and for a while they are relatively happy.

Meanwhile, Michael (Sean Gallagher) is charged with threatening behaviour and it seems likely he will get a fine. Julie and Michael are forced to confront their financial situation – Julie can’t live with Angela forever, but can’t afford to pay both rent and her half of the mortgage on the family house. The house is in negative equity – they can’t sell – and now Michael has lost his job. They’re trapped. Julie knows she must return to her family.

The presence of Aaron and Julie in the house is difficult for Angela – forcing her to reflect on her own lack of a relationship – and she asks if they might now find somewhere else to live. It’s time to move on, and Julie knows she must move back in with Michael. Aaron returns to his parents, tail between his legs, but both Aaron and Julie are determined to make their relationship work somehow.

Julie begs Hugh for her old job back, and eventually he relents. Aaron gets a job in an office, and starts to look for a flat to rent. Now they’re both back on their feet he hopes they might be able to live together properly.

Julie and Michael try to talk, but it turns into a heated row and when Maxine (Amelia Young) arrives she has to intervene. She can see how broken their family has become.

Maxine goes to Aaron’s offices. She knows her mum is still seeing Aaron. An emotional Maxine pleads with Aaron to leave their family alone.

That night, Aaron proudly shows Julie his new flat but lets slip that Maxine came to see him. Julie is shocked by what her daughter has had to do. She tells Aaron she could leave her husband, but could never leave her children – their relationship has to end. She leaves.

Julie’s life slowly returns to a sort of normality, but it’s clear she is hiding the pain she feels. One night, Aaron goes to Julie’s house, and stands outside, looking in at the family, eating dinner together. He slips quietly away.

But as the family finish dinner and Julie clears the plates, she reflects on what she’s lost, drops the plates and runs outside, gets in the car and drives to Aaron’s flat. She knocks desperately, but he won’t answer. She pleads with him through the door, but Aaron just sits in his flat, in the dark, silently sobbing. Julie knows he’s in there, but eventually has to give up and leave. Aaron is left alone.

Some months later, Jonah (Greg Chillin) is getting married. Among the guests, we find Aaron sitting with a new girlfriend. At the back of the room, we see Julie supervising operations. Aaron turns and catches Julie’s eye. They share an uncertain, bittersweet smile.

Monday, 17 September 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

EPISODE TWO:

Aaron (Callum Turner) and Julie (Helen McCrory) have started a passionate affair and they begin meeting in secret.

When Julie’s friend Angela (Sandra Huggett), the hotel receptionist, learns about the affair, she helps them conduct it at work – giving them a key to one of the guest bedrooms. But when they are almost caught by another member of hotel staff, it’s a wake-up call for Julie – her family is at stake.

Meanwhile, Michael (Sean Gallagher) shares banter with a young woman in the car park where he works. He’s flattered when she compliments him. But when he tries to joke with her – perhaps even flirt with her – he oversteps the mark, leaving her feeling threatened. She makes a complaint and Michael is suspended, pending an investigation.

Although Julie knows she must be cautious, her relationship with Aaron develops and it becomes clear this isn’t just a fling – he really does care about her.

Aaron’s family begin to see the change in him – it’s like he’s grown up. They know he is seeing someone, but don’t know who. Until one day, Aaron’s parents return to the house unexpectedly and are shocked to find their son with an older woman.

Julie is deeply upset and runs away. Aaron follows her and tells her he loves her. Julie can’t reciprocate – she rebuffs him.

Aaron has a new determination to prove himself to Julie – to prove he is not just a boy. But when he applies and wins a place on the hotel’s management trainee scheme, he unexpectedly gets seconded to London for a year. The prospect of this forces Julie to confront the feelings she’s been trying to deny. Aaron asks her to give him a reason not to leave. Julie can’t bring herself to say the words.

Meanwhile, Michael has started to suspect Julie is hiding something. When he discovers she’s been lying to him, he realises she’s having an affair. Michael turns up at the hotel, bursts into the breakfast room, and strikes Julie across the face. Members of staff have to restrain both Michael and Aaron, who has rushed to Julie’s aid. Michael is furious and upset – Julie is distraught. The affair has been made public.

Monday, 10 September 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Written and created by Tony Marchant, Helen McCrory and Callum Turner star in this gripping three part character-driven story about the complexities of love, family and growing up.

Aaron Simmons (Callum Turner) is 25. He lives with his parents, can’t find a job, and – to cap it all – his ex-girlfriend Phoebe (Charity Wakefield) is about to marry his brother, Tom (Bart Edwards). Life’s not panning out the way he’d hoped.
Julie Ranmore (Helen McCrory) is 44, married to Michael (Sean Gallagher) and a mum of two. The passion has long since lapsed in her marriage, but her work in hotel events gives her brief moments of joy in the romance of others. Julie stands quietly at the back of weddings, silently mouthing the vows she knows by heart, enjoying the vicarious thrill of seeing other people happy.

When Julie first meets Aaron on the night of his brother’s wedding, he is drunk, miserable, a mess. Professional and with a degree of sympathy, Julie gets the night porter to take him to his room. Julie heads home to the everyday chaos of her family, unaware that this moment was the unlikely start to an unlikely relationship.

The next morning, with a stinking hangover and the accompanying fug of self-pity, Aaron cuts a pathetic figure. It takes Julie, back on shift, to deliver some home truths – he needs a reality check.

With those words ringing in Aaron’s ears, the wedding hardens his resolve to find work, leave behind his childhood bedroom, and turn things around. When a job comes up at the hotel, his mate Jonah (Gregg Chillin) cajoles him into applying. He gets it.

Now Aaron and Julie are working together every day. Although Aaron’s tasks are menial, he soon develops an easy rapport with his colleagues and begins to enjoy himself. Despite this, Julie keeps him slightly at arm’s length – perhaps suspicious that for Aaron this is just a passing job, a gap year of sorts, before he moves onto ‘bigger and better’ things. For her, this is real – this is her life. But Aaron genuinely starts to take pride in his work, and recognise the reasons Julie finds her job so rewarding.

A bond begins to form and, one night, an intimate moment becomes a kiss – taking them both by surprise. What follows will have profound implications for both Aaron and Julie as they each come to terms with finding love in the unlikeliest of places.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1