“Poldark’s” Aidan Turner will star as a maverick coach guiding an up-and-coming tennis player (Ella Lily Hyland) to stardom in Amazon Prime Video’s new U.K. drama “Fifteen-Love.”
Created by Hania Elkington, “Fifteen-Love” explores the fictional story of Justine Pearce (Hyland), a young sports prodigy, who enjoyed a meteoric rise in the world of Grand Slam Tennis, aided by her coach Glenn Lapthorn (Turner), with whom she shared an intense rapport.
Together they reached the semi-final of the French Open but Justine’s dream was cut brutally short by a devastating injury and the end of her professional career. Five years on, now aged 22, Justine has a new life as a therapist at her old tennis academy Longwood, but when she makes an explosive allegation against her former coach, everyone is forced to reconsider what they thought they knew about Justine and Glenn’s past success.
Alongside Turner and Hyland, the show also stars Anna Chancellor (“The Crown”), Jessica Darrow (“Encanto”), Tom Varey (“Ridley Road”), Lorenzo Richelmy (“Marco Polo”), Manon Azem (“Your Honour”), Elizabeth Berrington (“The Nevers”), Amar Chadha-Patel (“Willow”), Steffan Rhodri (“House of the Dragon”) and newcomers Maria Margarida Almeida and Harmony Rose-Bremner.
The series is produced by ITV Studios-backed “Line of Duty” producer World Productions.
As well as writing the show, Elkington also executive produces alongside Jake Lushington (“Vigil”) for World Productions. The directors are Eva Riley (“Perfect Ten”) and Toby MacDonald (“Ragdoll”). The series is produced by Natasha Romaniuk (“The Suspect”). The show, which is currently shooting, will launch on Prime Video in the U.K. and Ireland next year.
“The voice of women in sport has never been heard as loudly and clearly as over the last two years,” said Elkington. “From Simone Biles to Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu to Pam Shriver, the pressures and realities of being at the top of your game on the world stage are finally breaking through to us, making us look again at the price our young prodigies can pay for the goals they work so hard to achieve. Writing this drama, and the people I’ve met through my deep-dive into researching it, has been revelatory. I hope that ‘Fifteen-Love’ has the same effect on its audience, and can become another valuable part of this urgent, emerging story.”
Turner added: “Hania’s scripts and characters are so incredibly layered and nuanced, tackling themes and issues within the world of sport that I don’t feel have been explored on screen before. I am excited to take on the complex role of Glenn and can’t wait to work with Ella, Hania, World Productions, Prime Video and the rest of the cast to bring this important story to life.”
Hyland added: “When I read ‘Fifteen-Love’ I was struck instantly by how important and unique the story felt. Hania’s writing is looking at the greyer areas in relationship and power dynamics. Justine is such a gorgeous, complicated character. I feel so lucky to be playing her and to be part of such a brave and bold team.”
Lushington said: “It is so rare to find such a complex, compelling and relevant story that has so much warmth, passion and humour. With such an insight into what may be going on behind the scenes, audiences will never watch a game of professional tennis the same way ever again.”
“Fifteen-Love” joins a growing roster of U.K. originals for Prime Video. The service recently launched “Ten Percent,” its British adaptation of “Call My Agent!,” and other shows include “Good Omens,” “Clarkson’s Farm,” “The Grand Tour,” “Lovestruck High” and “Backstage with Katherine Ryan,” in addition to sports-themed factual programs such as “All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur” and the forthcoming “All or Nothing: Arsenal.”