Material Girl

Lenora Crichlow, Dervla Kirwan and Michael Landes star in new six-part drama Material Girl, a romantic comedy about a young fashion designer battling an evil ex-boss, a sexy-but-devilish business partner and snobby fashionistas to get her break in work and love – coming to BBC One at 8.00pm on Thursday 14 January 2010.

Set in the bustling, creative hot-bed of Brick Lane, Leonora Crichlow (Being Human, Sugar Rush) is Ali Redcliffe who sets out to make a name for herself as a fashion designer, in the only way she knows how, through sheer hard work and talent.

Dervla Kirwan (Doctor Who) is Davina Bailey, the scheming designer of the moment, who isn’t about to give up her crown as queen of fashion, and the designer every hot star wants to be dressed by.

Alongside Ali is Marco, played by Michael Landes (Love Soup), the mercurial and brilliant business partner who wants to make Ali a star.

At the heart of the show is Ali, impetuous, feisty, neurotic, a total mess in her personal life but extraordinarily talented in her professional life as a fashion designer, mid-twenties, single, fiercely loyal to her tightly-knit group of friends, Alex, Mimi and Lydia.

Alex (Nick Blood) is Ali’s flatmate and best friend from college, but also a designer at Ali’s key rival, Davina Bailey; Mimi (Ingrid Oliver) is the wannabe stylist at a leading fashion magazine, and almost as intuitive and brilliant as Ali; and Lydia (Anna Brewster) the model with a face like an angel and the voice of a navvy.

Ali’s love life is equally up in the air, after a difficult break-up she starts seeing the almost-too-good-to-be-true (but gorgeous) Chris (OT Fagbenle). But will the sexual tension with her and her business partner, Marco, threaten her new relationship?

It is these friendships and relationships, the ups and downs, solidarity, extraordinary chemistry and their entwined destinies that are the fabric of Material Girl.

Gareth Neame, Managing Director of Carnival Film & Television, the producers of the series, says: “We’re delighted to make this show for BBC One. Viewers can expect all the glamour and colour of the fashion world alongside warm, witty and colourful characters and, above all, the dreams and passions of a tight-knit group of friends.”

Material Girl was commissioned by Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One, and Ben Stephenson, Controller, Drama Commissioning. Polly Hill is the BBC Executive Producer.

Ben Stephenson says: “Material Girl is a fun saga of a girl trying to make it in a competitive professional and personal world with all the zest of a Hollywood romantic comedy.

“It has got a terrific cast of exciting new actors, as well as the fabulous Michael Landes and Dervla Kirwan.”

Material Girl is produced by Chrissy Skinns (Secret Diary Of A Call Girl); directed by Cilla Ware (Primeval, All The Small Things), Sarah O’Gorman (Plus One) and Philip John (Mistresses).

Material Girl is inspired by Fashion Babylon, written by Imogen Edwards-Jones and Anonymous. The series has been written by Joshua St.Johnston, Colin Bytheway, Ben Ockrent, Imogen Edwards-Jones and Jess Williams.

Material Girl is also being simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC’s high definition channel available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media. With up to five times more detail than standard definition television, HD gives you exceptionally vivid colours and crisp pictures to make Material Girl a truly cinematic TV experience.

More content about Material Girl will be published, as transmission approaches, on this page: www.bbc.co.uk/tv/comingup/materialgirl

Paris’s hectic Fashion Week has kicked off and backstage at the Davina Bailey show the stress levels are starting to peak when a creative flare-up between Ali and Davina triggers Ali to make the rash decision of walking out, leaving a furious Davina in her wake.

As the weight of her actions sinks in, Ali is thrown a life-line by revered fashion critic Mitchell Crompton – he promises her a fantastic job in return for a sexual favour. Disgusted, Ali rebuffs him, making herself yet another powerful enemy…

Back in the UK, as Ali searches for a new job, doors are closed in her face. No-one wants to go near her for fear of upsetting Mitchell Crompton.

When retiring from the profession seems to be the only option, Marco, an entrepreneur, offers her the exciting opportunity to design under her own label.

But aware of his unscrupulous nature, and warned off him by friends Alex, Mimi and Lydia, Ali is initially cautious until a sneer from Davina prompts her into signing up with him.

The following day, Ali and Marco find a studio but it’s not long before they clash over which celebrity to dress at the upcoming BAFTA awards ceremony. Marco wants to dress the star of a nominated film for optimum publicity whereas Ali would rather dress the true heroine behind the film – she doesn’t want to just emulate Davina and design only for the stars, but wants to make an ordinary person like soldier Lynn Jones feel wonderful.

Marco deftly recruits the actress and Ali acquiesces, seeing it for the great opportunity it is. However, at the 11th hour, they lose their actress to Davina.

Ali is gutted but Marco surprises her by getting the true heroine onto the red carpet wearing a knock-out Ali Redcliffe dress, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the waiting press. Ali finally relaxes into her business relationship with Marco.

Meanwhile, Ali meets gorgeous Chris. Keen to pursue a relationship with Ali, Chris is disappointed when he’s given the brush off so she can concentrate on her work.

But when Ali has her first taste of business success, she feels ready to take a chance with Chris.

Tell me about your character?

Davina isn’t a very talented designer, she’s insecure and has to delegate everything to her designers and find time to keep her empire going.

She’s good at manipulating the world she’s in and that’s why she’s successful. At the same time Davina is a self-made woman, totally creative, an individual with a desire to control everyone and everything in her empire.

Would you go so far as to say that she’s villainous?

Yes, she is, because the stakes are high. I’ve chosen to play her as motivated by greed and, when that’s what drives a person, nothing will stand in their way.

She’s put 20 years of her life behind the business, given up her life to it. She has no family, no relationship. Everything is her work and she’s not letting anything stand in her way.

Were you inspired by any real or fictional characters?

I watched Lagerfeld Confidential, which was such an insight into the daily life of a maverick designer. I’ve never met any of these extraordinary, eccentric people, so it was really useful, they are very creative and under enormous pressure.

Can you describe the Davina Bailey look?

The look is an amalgamation of icon and siren, she’s like a female Karl Lagerfeld with attitude, Mrs Robinson meets Deeta Von Teese. She’s always dressed in black, very 1940s Hollywood, Joan Crawford with a twist.

She has quite a bit of control over the other characters?

I’d agree and it really makes her enjoyable to play. She’s clever, always ahead of everyone.

If you look at the set for her design studio, it’s all glass, which is very much a metaphor. It looks like a goldfish bowl and, because I’m always dressed in black, it adds this black widow spider quality to my character.

Is it much more fun playing a bitch?

Yeah, I think it is, of course. She’s not a pantomime villain either, which is always a fear, because it’s not as simple as that in real life.

How did you get involved?

I liked the idea and I thought this is something I’ve never seen before. The scripts were good, with interesting characters coming through. It felt to me a bit like a fairy tale.

Now it comes to this stage of my career when I get to play the wicked witch all the time. You know you start off with Cinderella and then you end up playing the stepmothers.

Are you interested in fashion?

Yes, very much. I don’t think there are many people who aren’t, particularly in this business. My favourite designers are Stella McCartney, Balenciaga, Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel and Givenchy, but I wish I had loads of money to spend on them.

How are you enjoying this particular role and being a fashion designer?

I’m thoroughly enjoying it, it’s a very different role to playing a ghost in Being Human and a very different world to the one I’m used to as Lenora.

I can’t say that I move and shake in the world of fashion, so it’s wonderful to get to do something completely different, nothing to complain about really. I get my hair and make-up done every morning and I get the chance to wear fabulous clothes.

You must have had some fashion interest before?

I’ve always been interested in fashion, the clothes, but I’m not that familiar with the fashion industry, for me it just comes out of quite an innocent sense of style. I just like being a bit different and then finding what suits me. I don’t really follow fashion exactly but I’ve always been very interested in the way that you present yourself as an expression of yourself, so that’s my idea of fashion and style from a personal point of view. I don’t really watch trends or designers and haven’t particularly taken an interest outside of that until now.

How would you describe Ali’s style?

Ali’s style is unfussy, stylish, practical and sexy, it was important that people could relate to her. She wears a lot of vintage and there’s a timeless element to those clothes.

Ralph Wheeler-Holes, the very talented costume designer, mixed up vintage with a lot of high street, which is a very different look to what I would normally wear. Ralph completely thinks outside the box, I wouldn’t have chosen the majority of the items he’d selected. I wouldn’t even go there, but once it’s on I’m like, oh yeah!

Seeing how Ralph has taken vintage clothes and put them alongside new pieces, making an outfit look fantastic, has made me think about my look, my clothes are a bit more obvious.

Is there pressure taking on the lead role in the drama?

It’s a slightly different pressure, definitely different to my role in Being Human or Sugar Rush, where I felt I had my backing singers, I felt like a joint lead. In Material Girl, I feel very much the central character because everything revolves around Ali’s story, but I feel like there’s a huge family around me, maybe because it’s BBC One, I feel like I’ve got a lot of support so if the pressure builds, there’s lots of people I can go and talk to. I’m also very good under pressure!

What can you tell us about your character, Ali Redcliffe?

Well first of all she’s a joy to play because she’s one of these characters who really wears her heart on her sleeve.

I think within the drama she really represents an honest, integral, accessible person and I think that everybody should be able to tap into a part of her. Whether its pressures at work or having to compromise her relationship, she’s a very real character and very rooted in her emotions.

Also then there’s her career and setting herself up in business, which means she has to grow up and learn very quickly.

As a character she loves life and she’s very fun, she loves her friends, she can be bit melodramatic at times, but who isn’t?

Getting noticed in the fashion industry is tough, you hear about the bitchiness and backstabbing, does Material Girl tap into that side of the industry?

The drama doesn’t really centre on those elements of the industry. Ali’s fight is the challenge of starting a fashion label and learning the business. In that storyline there’s a lot more scope for her to come up against the demons of the business and see if she’s got what it takes.

The fashion world can be very fickle, but Material Girl focuses on the fun element, the creative element.

What about her love interest?

Which one? Ali is just having the best time.

She goes into business with Marco, her business partner and they have a complicated relationship. Towards the end of the series we flirt with the idea of what is bubbling along under the surface.

She does have a boyfriend who she meets quite early on in the series called Chris, who charms the pants off her in a bowling alley, he’s wonderful, literally bowls her off her feet. He’s very cool and they hit it off straight away, it’s all going really well until her ex turns up – not only does he turn up, he employs her boyfriend as a model.

She feels this complicates things and, as always, nothing is straightforward with Ali and her love life, but that makes it very entertaining and a lot more exciting.

Have you ever tried making your own clothes and were they any good?

I have! And I did wear them out! OK, that’s a bit of a lie, I haven’t made my own clothes, I’ve knitted my own scarf and I’ve customised stuff.

That’s what I used to do when I was at college, so I’d have a pair of very plain tracksuit bottoms but try and jazz them up by cutting them up and sticking things on them, if that counts. I like to think I’m creative, just to keep things fun and unique but I couldn’t say I’ ve made anything from scratch.

Are you inspired now?

Very much so, I’ve had to learn how it’s all done and I’m sure it sounds and looks a lot easier than it actually is because everyone around me makes it look very easy. Yes, so I’m very tempted and I don’t know what’s next – I might be dressing my whole family!

LenoraCrichlow, Dervla Kirwan and Michael Landes are to star in BBC One’s new six-part drama Material Girl, a romantic comedy about a young fashion designer battling an evil ex-boss, a sexy-but-devilish business partner and snobby fashionistas to get her break in work and love.

Ugly Betty UK?

Anyway, the show is set in London, or more speficially, Brick  Lane, where Leonora Crichlow (Being Human, Sugar Rush) is Ali Redcliffe who sets out to make a name for herself as a fashion designer.

Dervla Kirwan (Doctor Who, those M&S ads) is Davina Bailey, the scheming designer of the moment, who isn’t about to give up her crown as queen of fashion, and the designer every hot star wants to be dressed by. Blah blah.

Alongside Ali is Marco, played by Michael Landes (Love Soup), the mercurial and brilliant business partner who wants to make Ali a star.

Ali, naturally, is impetuous, feisty, neurotic, and most importantly, a total mess in her personal life. She’s all hard working and tenacious and, well, nice to look at. That implies a love interest with Marco already doesn’t it?

Away from fashion fashion fashion, she’s down with her tight-knit group of friends, Alex, Mimi and Lydia.


Alex (Nick Blood) is Ali’s flatmate and best friend from college, but also a designer at Ali’s key rival, Davina Bailey; Mimi (Ingrid Oliver) is the wannabe stylist at a leading fashion magazine, and almost as intuitive and brilliant as Ali; and Lydia (Anna Brewster) the model with a face like an angel and the voice of a navvy.

This is invariably going to be pure, undiluted trash. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It could be great, brainless fun.

Paris’s hectic Fashion Week has kicked off and backstage at the Davina Bailey show the stress levels are starting to peak when a creative flare-up between Ali and Davina triggers Ali to make the rash decision of walking out, leaving a furious Davina in her wake.

As the weight of her actions sinks in, Ali is thrown a life-line by revered fashion critic Mitchell Crompton – he promises her a fantastic job in return for a sexual favour. Disgusted, Ali rebuffs him, making herself yet another powerful enemy…

Back in the UK, as Ali searches for a new job, doors are closed in her face. No-one wants to go near her for fear of upsetting Mitchell Crompton.

When retiring from the profession seems to be the only option, Marco, an entrepreneur, offers her the exciting opportunity to design under her own label.

But aware of his unscrupulous nature, and warned off him by friends Alex, Mimi and Lydia, Ali is initially cautious until a sneer from Davina prompts her into signing up with him.

The following day, Ali and Marco find a studio but it’s not long before they clash over which celebrity to dress at the upcoming BAFTA awards ceremony. Marco wants to dress the star of a nominated film for optimum publicity whereas Ali would rather dress the true heroine behind the film – she doesn’t want to just emulate Davina and design only for the stars, but wants to make an ordinary person like soldier Lynn Jones feel wonderful.

Marco deftly recruits the actress and Ali acquiesces, seeing it for the great opportunity it is. However, at the 11th hour, they lose their actress to Davina.

Ali is gutted but Marco surprises her by getting the true heroine onto the red carpet wearing a knock-out Ali Redcliffe dress, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the waiting press. Ali finally relaxes into her business relationship with Marco.

Meanwhile, Ali meets gorgeous Chris. Keen to pursue a relationship with Ali, Chris is disappointed when he’s given the brush off so she can concentrate on her work.

But when Ali has her first taste of business success, she feels ready to take a chance with Chris.

Tell me about your character?

Davina isn’t a very talented designer, she’s insecure and has to delegate everything to her designers and find time to keep her empire going.

She’s good at manipulating the world she’s in and that’s why she’s successful. At the same time Davina is a self-made woman, totally creative, an individual with a desire to control everyone and everything in her empire.

Would you go so far as to say that she’s villainous?

Yes, she is, because the stakes are high. I’ve chosen to play her as motivated by greed and, when that’s what drives a person, nothing will stand in their way.

She’s put 20 years of her life behind the business, given up her life to it. She has no family, no relationship. Everything is her work and she’s not letting anything stand in her way.

Were you inspired by any real or fictional characters?

I watched Lagerfeld Confidential, which was such an insight into the daily life of a maverick designer. I’ve never met any of these extraordinary, eccentric people, so it was really useful, they are very creative and under enormous pressure.

Can you describe the Davina Bailey look?

The look is an amalgamation of icon and siren, she’s like a female Karl Lagerfeld with attitude, Mrs Robinson meets Deeta Von Teese. She’s always dressed in black, very 1940s Hollywood, Joan Crawford with a twist.

She has quite a bit of control over the other characters?

I’d agree and it really makes her enjoyable to play. She’s clever, always ahead of everyone.

If you look at the set for her design studio, it’s all glass, which is very much a metaphor. It looks like a goldfish bowl and, because I’m always dressed in black, it adds this black widow spider quality to my character.

Is it much more fun playing a bitch?

Yeah, I think it is, of course. She’s not a pantomime villain either, which is always a fear, because it’s not as simple as that in real life.

How did you get involved?

I liked the idea and I thought this is something I’ve never seen before. The scripts were good, with interesting characters coming through. It felt to me a bit like a fairy tale.

Now it comes to this stage of my career when I get to play the wicked witch all the time. You know you start off with Cinderella and then you end up playing the stepmothers.

Are you interested in fashion?

Yes, very much. I don’t think there are many people who aren’t, particularly in this business. My favourite designers are Stella McCartney, Balenciaga, Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel and Givenchy, but I wish I had loads of money to spend on them.

Lenora Crichlow, Dervla Kirwan and Michael Landes star in BBC One’s new six-part drama Material Girl, a romantic comedy about a young fashion designer battling an evil ex-boss, a sexy-but-devilish business partner and snobby fashionistas to get her break in work and love.

Set in the bustling, creative hot-bed of Brick Lane, Leonora Crichlow (Being Human, Sugar Rush) is Ali Redcliffe who sets out to make a name for herself as a fashion designer, in the only way she knows how, through sheer hard work and talent.

Dervla Kirwan (Doctor Who) is Davina Bailey, the scheming designer of the moment, who isn’t about to give up her crown as queen of fashion, and the designer every hot star wants to be dressed by.

Alongside Ali is Marco, played by Michael Landes (Love Soup), the mercurial and brilliant business partner who wants to make Ali a star.

At the heart of the show is Ali, impetuous, feisty, neurotic, a total mess in her personal life but extraordinarily talented in her professional life as a fashion designer, mid-twenties, single, fiercely loyal to her tightly-knit group of friends, Alex, Mimi and Lydia.

Alex (Nick Blood) is Ali’s flatmate and best friend from college, but also a designer at Ali’s key rival, Davina Bailey; Mimi (Ingrid Oliver) is the wannabe stylist at a leading fashion magazine, and almost as intuitive and brilliant as Ali; and Lydia (Anna Brewster) the model with a face like an angel and the voice of a navvy.

Ali’s love life is equally up in the air, after a difficult break-up she starts seeing the almost-too-good-to-be-true (but gorgeous) Chris (OT Fagbenle). But will the sexual tension with her and her business partner, Marco, threaten her new relationship?

It is these friendships and relationships, the ups and downs, solidarity, extraordinary chemistry and their entwined destinies that are the fabric of Material Girl.

Gareth Neame, Managing Director of Carnival Film & Television, the producers of the series, says: “We’re delighted to make this show for BBC One. Viewers can expect all the glamour and colour of the fashion world alongside warm, witty and colourful characters and, above all, the dreams and passions of a tight-knit group of friends.”

Material Girl was commissioned by Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One, and Ben Stephenson, Controller, Drama Commissioning. Polly Hill is the BBC Executive Producer.

Ben Stephenson says: “Material Girl is a fun saga of a girl trying to make it in a competitive professional and personal world with all the zest of a Hollywood romantic comedy.

“It has got a terrific cast of exciting new actors, as well as the fabulous Michael Landes and Dervla Kirwan.”

Material Girl is produced by Chrissy Skinns (Secret Diary Of A Call Girl); directed by Cilla Ware (Primeval, All The Small Things), Sarah O’Gorman (Plus One) and Philip John (Mistresses).

Material Girl is inspired by Fashion Babylon, written by Imogen Edwards-Jones and Anonymous. The series has been written by Joshua St.Johnston, Colin Bytheway, Ben Ockrent, Imogen Edwards-Jones and Jess Williams.

Material Girl is also being simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC’s high definition channel available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media. With up to five times more detail than standard definition television, HD gives you exceptionally vivid colours and crisp pictures to make Material Girl a truly cinematic TV experience.

 

How are you enjoying this particular role and being a fashion designer?

I’m thoroughly enjoying it, it’s a very different role to playing a ghost in Being Human and a very different world to the one I’m used to as Lenora.

I can’t say that I move and shake in the world of fashion, so it’s wonderful to get to do something completely different, nothing to complain about really. I get my hair and make-up done every morning and I get the chance to wear fabulous clothes.

You must have had some fashion interest before?

I’ve always been interested in fashion, the clothes, but I’m not that familiar with the fashion industry, for me it just comes out of quite an innocent sense of style. I just like being a bit different and then finding what suits me. I don’t really follow fashion exactly but I’ve always been very interested in the way that you present yourself as an expression of yourself, so that’s my idea of fashion and style from a personal point of view. I don’t really watch trends or designers and haven’t particularly taken an interest outside of that until now.

How would you describe Ali’s style?

Ali’s style is unfussy, stylish, practical and sexy, it was important that people could relate to her. She wears a lot of vintage and there’s a timeless element to those clothes.

Ralph Wheeler-Holes, the very talented costume designer, mixed up vintage with a lot of high street, which is a very different look to what I would normally wear. Ralph completely thinks outside the box, I wouldn’t have chosen the majority of the items he’d selected. I wouldn’t even go there, but once it’s on I’m like, oh yeah!

Seeing how Ralph has taken vintage clothes and put them alongside new pieces, making an outfit look fantastic, has made me think about my look, my clothes are a bit more obvious.

Is there pressure taking on the lead role in the drama?

It’s a slightly different pressure, definitely different to my role in Being Human or Sugar Rush, where I felt I had my backing singers, I felt like a joint lead. In Material Girl, I feel very much the central character because everything revolves around Ali’s story, but I feel like there’s a huge family around me, maybe because it’s BBC One, I feel like I’ve got a lot of support so if the pressure builds, there’s lots of people I can go and talk to. I’m also very good under pressure!

What can you tell us about your character, Ali Redcliffe?

Well first of all she’s a joy to play because she’s one of these characters who really wears her heart on her sleeve.

I think within the drama she really represents an honest, integral, accessible person and I think that everybody should be able to tap into a part of her. Whether its pressures at work or having to compromise her relationship, she’s a very real character and very rooted in her emotions.

Also then there’s her career and setting herself up in business, which means she has to grow up and learn very quickly.

As a character she loves life and she’s very fun, she loves her friends, she can be bit melodramatic at times, but who isn’t?

Getting noticed in the fashion industry is tough, you hear about the bitchiness and backstabbing, does Material Girl tap into that side of the industry?

The drama doesn’t really centre on those elements of the industry. Ali’s fight is the challenge of starting a fashion label and learning the business. In that storyline there’s a lot more scope for her to come up against the demons of the business and see if she’s got what it takes.

The fashion world can be very fickle, but Material Girl focuses on the fun element, the creative element.

What about her love interest?

Which one? Ali is just having the best time.

She goes into business with Marco, her business partner and they have a complicated relationship. Towards the end of the series we flirt with the idea of what is bubbling along under the surface.

She does have a boyfriend who she meets quite early on in the series called Chris, who charms the pants off her in a bowling alley, he’s wonderful, literally bowls her off her feet. He’s very cool and they hit it off straight away, it’s all going really well until her ex turns up – not only does he turn up, he employs her boyfriend as a model.

She feels this complicates things and, as always, nothing is straightforward with Ali and her love life, but that makes it very entertaining and a lot more exciting.

Have you ever tried making your own clothes and were they any good?

I have! And I did wear them out! OK, that’s a bit of a lie, I haven’t made my own clothes, I’ve knitted my own scarf and I’ve customised stuff.

That’s what I used to do when I was at college, so I’d have a pair of very plain tracksuit bottoms but try and jazz them up by cutting them up and sticking things on them, if that counts. I like to think I’m creative, just to keep things fun and unique but I couldn’t say I’ ve made anything from scratch.

Are you inspired now?

Very much so, I’ve had to learn how it’s all done and I’m sure it sounds and looks a lot easier than it actually is because everyone around me makes it look very easy. Yes, so I’m very tempted and I don’t know what’s next – I might be dressing my whole family!

BBC Drama announces casting for Material Girl, a romantic comedy about a young fashion designer battling an evil ex-boss, a sexy but devilish business partner and snobby fashionistas to get her break in work and love, from Carnival Film and Television for BBC One.

Set in the bustling, creative hot-bed of Brick Lane, Leonora Crichlow (Being Human, Sugar Rush) is Ali Redcliffe who sets out to make a name for herself as a fashion designer, in the only way she knows how, through sheer hard work and talent.

Dervla Kirwan (Doctor Who) is Davina Bailey, the scheming designer of the moment, who isn’t about to give up her crown as queen of fashion and the designer every hot star wants to be dressed by.

Alongside Ali is Marco, played by Michael Landes (Love Soup), the mercurial and brilliant business partner who wants to make Ali a star.

At the heart of the show is Ali, impetuous, feisty, neurotic, a total mess in her personal life but extraordinarily talented in her professional life as a fashion designer – mid-twenties, single, fiercely loyal to her tightly knit group of friends, Alex, Mimi and Lydia.

Alex is Ali’s flat mate and best friend from college, but also a designer at Ali’s key rival, Davina Bailey; Mimi is the wannabe stylist at Vogue, and almost as intuitive and brilliant as Ali; and Lydia is the model with a face like an angel and the voice of a navvy.

Ali’s love life is equally up in the air. After a difficult break-up, she starts seeing the too-good-to-be-true Chris (OT Fagbenle), but will the sexual tension with her and her business partner, Marco, threaten her new relationship?

It is these friendships and relationships, the ups and downs, solidarity, extraordinary chemistry and their entwined destinies that are the fabric of Material Girl.

Gareth Neame, Managing Director of Carnival Film and Television, the producers of the series, says: “We’re delighted to make this show for BBC One, viewers can expect all the glamour and colour of the fashion world, alongside warm, witty and colourful characters and, above all, the dreams and passions of a tight-knit group of friends.”

Material Girl was commissioned by Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One, and Ben Stephenson, Controller, Drama Commissioning. Polly Hill is the BBC Executive Producer.

Ben Stephenson says: “Material Girl is a fun saga of a girl trying to make it in a competitive professional and personal world, with all the zest of a Hollywood romantic comedy.

“It has got a terrific cast of exciting new actors, as well as the fabulous Michael Landes and Dervla Kirwan.”

Material Girl is produced by Chrissy Skinns (Secret Diary Of A Call Girl); directed by Cilla Ware (Primeval, All The Small Things), Sarah O’Gorman (Plus One) and Philip John (Mistresses).

Material Girl is inspired by Fashion Babylon, written by Imogen Edwards-Jones. The series has been created by Joshua St Johnston and written by Colin Bytheway, Ben Ockrent, Imogen Edwards-Jones and Jess Williams.

Material Girl is the latest commission by BBC Drama from an independent production company. Further 2009 transmissions include Ashes To Ashes and Occupation.

Material Girl, a six-part series, films in and around London during the spring and summer and will transmit later this year on BBC One.

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