Filming began in Bolton at the end of April on BBC Two’s Alma’s Not Normal (6x30’); a series produced by Expectation about Boltonian wild-child, Alma Nuthall (Sophie Willan) and her family of eccentric, unruly women.
As well as starring in the lead role of Alma, Sophie Willan has written and executive produced the series. Sophie was the inaugural winner of the BBC’s Caroline Aherne Bursary Award in 2018, and following a critically acclaimed pilot broadcast in 2020, received a BAFTA nomination for Best Writing: Comedy (2021).
The cast returning for the full series alongside Sophie are Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley, Downton Abbey) as her mum Lin; Lorraine Ashbourne (The Crown, Cheat) as her Nan Joan, Jayde Adams (Crazy Delicious) as Alma’s best friend Leanne, James Baxter (Still Open all Hours, Emmerdale) as Alma’s ex-boyfriend Anthony and Nicholas Asbury (Doctor Who, Chewing Gum) as Jim.
Completing the cast are; Thanyia Moore (The Duchess, Jamie Johnson), Dave Spikey (Phoenix Nights) and Ben Willbond (Ghosts, Yonderland).
The series follows Alma as she tries to get her life back on track after a break-up. But with no job, no qualifications and a rebellious streak a mile wide, it’s not going to be easy. Meanwhile her mum, who is battling a heroin addiction, has been sectioned for arson and her vampish Grandma Joan wants nothing to do with it. Alma’s Not Normal offers a bitingly funny and unflinching take on class, sexuality, mental health and substance abuse. It celebrates women dealing with the hands they’ve been dealt while doggedly pursing their dreams.
Sophie Willan, Creator and Executive Producer, says: “I’m delighted that filming is underway for series one of Alma’s Not Normal, and even happier to be working alongside such a fantastic group of actors! We can’t wait for audiences to learn more about Alma’s world and the eclectic mix of characters that surround her.”
Nerys Evans, Executive Producer for Expectation, says: "We’re delighted to be making a full series of Alma’s Not Normal, after such a wonderful response to the pilot. Sophie is an incredible talent - she is such a gifted writer and performer and has written something that feels both utterly modern and yet timeless. With Gill Isles Producing and Andrew Chaplin Directing, we have an extraordinary team around Sophie to bring Alma to life."
Broadcast details for the series will be announced in due course. In accordance with all current government guidelines on Covid-19, production for Alma’s Not Normal will adhere to comprehensive protocols to ensure that the new series is produced in a safe and responsible manner.
Alma’s Not Normal (6x30’) is an Expectation production for BBC Two, written and Executive Produced by Sophie Willan. The Executive Producer for Expectation is Nerys Evans and the Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Tanya Qureshi.