Sheridan Smith and Olivia Colman to star in The 7.39

Olivia Colman: A wife battling for her husband's affections. Picture: PA
Olivia Colman: A wife battling for her husband's affections. Picture: PA
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SHERIDAN Smith and Olivia Colman are to star as rivals for the affections of a middle-aged man in a new BBC1 drama.

Novelist David Nicholls, whose books One Day and Starter For Ten have been adapted into films, has written the two-part romantic drama The 7.39.

David Morrissey stars as Carl Matthews, a married 45-year-old with a predictable life who becomes reinvigorated after meeting another woman on his regular 7:39am commute.

Colman – who drew acclaim for her role in ITV’s Broadchurch – stars as his college sweetheart wife Maggie, while Smith plays Sally, the new woman in his life, whom he meets as they squabble over a seat on the train.

Nicholls said: “The 7.39 is a love story for grown-ups, the sort of drama that has not been seen on television for a while.

“I’m delighted to be writing for the BBC again and working with such a terrific cast.”

Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC drama commissioning, said the venture boasts an impressive cast.

He said: “I’m bowled over by the award-winning and stellar cast starring in The 7.39. But it’s perhaps no surprise given the wonderful scripts by David Nicholls.

“Like One Day, The 7.39 is laugh-out-loud funny, painfully truthful, emotionally agonising and brilliantly British.”

It will be Nicholls in first drama adaptation since One Day, which was filmed partly on location in Edinburgh and starred Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.