Age Before Beauty centres around the Regan family, their salon, and the family dynamics involved in the salon life. Married to Wesley (James Murray) for 25 years, Bel (Polly Walker) 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 (Robson Green), 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 (Sue Johnston), a Northern Soul fanatic and spray tan technician; sisters Leanne (Kelly Harrison) – part-time nail-technician, part-time personal stylist; Tina (Lisa Riley) -‘body artist’ aka tattooist; and Heidi (Myers) – fillers & Botox, cosmetic surgery addict – mother to Disney, plump, nine year-old wannabe Pageant Queen.
Into the mix comes beautiful 20-something Personal Trainer Lorelei (Madeleine Mantock)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?
“Age Before Beauty became less about specific anti-ageing beauty treatments and much more about characters deciding to confound age-related expectations – for better or worse – at whatever age they fancied! I say for better or worse because one of the things we explore is the midlife crisis,” says Debbie.
Age Before Beauty, BBC One, July 31, 9pm.