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Queenie of our hearts

Queenie of our hearts

Queenie is leaping from the pages of the bestselling novel and into her very own series on Channel 4. Here’s why you should come along for the ride

By Charlotte Briggs, Staff Writer

They say good things come to those who wait. And finally, fans of Candice Carty-Williams’ bestselling novel can enjoy south London stalwart Queenie in a brand new screen adaption.


Queenie Jenkins (Dionne Brown, Criminal Record) is a 25-year-old British-Jamaican woman caught between two cultures and trying to find her way in the world. Like many other young women, she’s navigating the challenges of heartbreaks, evolving friendships, disastrous dates and house shares.



While it may sound like the life of any other ordinary 20-something in a big city, Queenie’s story is so much more. It’s one that explores how race, identity, culture and politics shape you. It’s a story that’s filled with razor-ship wit and hard-earned wisdom, making you root for Queenie as she makes one impulsive and messy decision after the other. The source of her self-destructive behaviour? The brutal end of a long-term relationship. Ouch.


And while Queenie journeys through a new chapter of her life seeking comfort in all the wrong places, eventually she learns that the most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one with yourself. Don’t miss the eight-part series starting at 10pm on Tuesday 4 June on Channel 4 HD (CH 104). Until then, read on to find out why Queenie should be at the top of your watchlist.


1. The impressive creative force behind the screen


It’s safe to say that Candice Carty-Williams has been busy since making her novel debut with Queenie in 2019. As well as becoming the first Black author to win “Book Of The Year” at the 2020 British Book Awards, she’s also an accomplished journalist and has penned two more novels, Empress & Aniya and People Person.


Now, Carty-Williams makes her TV industry debut as Queenie’s showrunner and executive producer. She’s part of a writing team alongside West End playwright Ryan Calais Cameron, BAFTA nominee Yolanda Mercy (BBW), award-winning author Natasha Brown and Sex Education writer Thara Popoola. Directors Joelle Mae David (Dreaming Whilst Black) and Makalla McPherson (Waterloo Road, EastEnders) round off the talented crew.


2. It has an ensemble supporting cast


Although we can’t wait to see Dionne Brown shine in her first leading role, she’ll also be joined by some top-notch co-stars. Alongside Brown are Jon Pointing (Big Boys) as Queenie’s long-term boyfriend Tom, Tilly Keeper (You) as her colleague Darcey and Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones’ Diary) as her hard-bitten editor Gina, with Samuel Adewunmi (You Don’t Know Me) and singer Bellah as her school friends Frank and Kyazike.


For Queenie’s family, Joseph Marcell (The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air) is Grandad Wilfred, Llewella Gideon (Top Boy) is Grandma Veronica, Michelle Greenridge (Doctor Who) is Auntie Maggie and newcomer Cristale De’Abreu is cousin Diana. Plus, former Love Island host Laura Whitmore takes on the role of Dr Ellison. Carty-Williams has said she “can’t imagine bringing Queenie to life without each member of this exciting and enviable cast”.


3. The story is deeply layered


Beneath the whip-smart and funny first-person narrative of a young woman dealing with relatable day-to-day dramas, there’s an undercurrent of the ongoing challenges that many people within the Black community face. Carty-Williams writes about the deeper issues affecting our protagonist, from mental health struggles that are alien to her intergenerational family members to experiences of everyday racism, prejudice in the workplace and misogynoir.


Carty-Williams also explores the gentrification of the south London she grew up in, highlighting how areas built on the efforts of immigrant communities are seeing their cultures eradicated and residents displaced, in favour of businesses that cater to the white and middle class.


4. Queenie has the backing of telly’s top players

Commissioned by Channel 4? Check. Co-produced by Lionsgate TV? Check. DISNEY?! Double check. Queenie has caught the eye of some of industry’s biggest powerhouses, with Head of Channel 4 Drama, Caroline Hollick, saying about the series, “I’m so excited for this adaptation, and I’m in no doubt that both Queenie and Candice are going to take Channel 4 by storm!” 


5. Overall, Queenie’s story is one of female empowerment


While for most of us our 20s are a time of freedom, they’re also a time of crucial self-discovery. And sometimes the only way to move forward in life is to face the past and all its pain head-on. As Queenie battles through that all-important growth on her own via a flurry of regrettable decisions, ultimately it’s her own inner power, as well as her relationship with her girlfriends (aka “The Corgis”), that keeps her anchored through the trials and tribulations of life.  


When can I watch Queenie on TV?

The first two episodes of Queenie will air from 10pm on Tuesday 4 June on Channel 4 HD (CH 104), continuing on Wednesday 5 June. The remaining episodes are on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 June. You can also catch up on the series in Apps > Channel 4.

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