Poldark writer and creator of Cutting It, Debbie Horsfield is writing a new contemporary drama series, Age Before Beauty, for BBC1.

The show is produced by  Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes’ Mainstreet Pictures and is set in a failing family-run beauty salon in Manchester.

Age Before Beauty “explores a fascination with staying young, a fear of ageing, instant gratification and long-term relationships in an irresistible setting. Family feuds and bitter rivalries, professional and personal, escalate as we follow the lives and loves of the workers in the salon amongst the Botox, fillers and face-lifts. Will secrets and lies destroy the family – or liberate it?”

Debbie Horsfield says: “I’m thrilled to be working with long-term colleagues Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes again. This will be our first collaboration since Cutting It, and we’re looking forward to turning the spotlight on the subject of ageing: growing older gracefully – or disgracefully!”

Laura Mackie says: “Debbie is writing at the top of her game and in Age Before Beauty she’s created a colourful and memorable set of characters and a story that examines our obsession with the ageing process in an emotional, entertaining and surprising way.”

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content says: “Age Before Beauty has it all: a dysfunctional family, bitter rivalries and botox! BBC One is the proud home of Debbie Horsfield’s new contemporary series that is set to be the Cutting It for a new generation.”

Married to Wesley for 25 years, Bel has spent the last 18 years as a homemaker and mum to their twins, but having just waved them off to university, now has a void in her life. Enter Teddy, brother-in-law and long-time Best Friend, begging her to step in and rescue the family business – a down-at-heel beauty salon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Like Bel, it could do with a bit of a face-lift. And possibly a clear-out, since it employs her high-maintenance family: mother Ivy-Rae (body building coach and spray tan technician), sisters Leanne (part- time nail-technician, part-time personal stylist), Tina (‘body artist’ aka tattooist) and Heidi (fillers and Botox, Cosmetic Surgery addict) mother to Disney, plump, 7 year old wannabe Pageant Queen. Into the mix comes beautiful 20-something Personal Trainer Lorelei who seems to have caught Wes’s eye…can Bel reconcile the demands of her business, her warring family and the problems in her marriage?

Writer and creator Debbie Horsfield will executive produce alongside Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes, Joint Managing Directors of Mainstreet Pictures; and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC.

Age Before Beauty was commissioned by Charlotte Moore and Lucy Richer, Acting Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning.

Jon Creamer