Martin Compston stars in first trailer for new BBC drama Mayflies

First trailer for the Line of Duty star’s new series

Note: The following article contains discussions on topics such as suicide.

Martin Compston’s new drama, Mayflies. released its first BBC trailer.

The Line of Duty star takes on the role of Jimmy, whose life is turned upside down when his childhood friend Tully (Tony Curran) breaks the devastating news that he has cancer.

The trailer sees an emotional Compston over his friend’s mortality, before Tully makes one final request that will test their decades of friendship and love for each other. Tully asks if Jimmy will help her end her life, and to begin with, we see that Jimmy is outraged and refuses.

As everyone around Tully struggles to come to terms with his diagnosis, including his wife Anna (played by After Life’s Ashley Jensen), he begins to think about how he wants his life to end.

martin compston, tony curran, ephemera

martin compston, tony curran, ephemera

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The show cuts between Scotland in the summer of 1986, when teenagers Jimmy and Tully spent a wild weekend together in Manchester, and the present, as a nod to the nostalgic euphoria of youth contrasting with their harsh adult reality.

The series, adapted from the acclaimed novel of the same name by Andrew O’Hagan, airs in two sixty-minute episodes which will be available on iPlayer from December 27 and air on BBC One on December 28.

The star-studded ensemble cast also includes Tracy Ifeachor (The Originals) as Iona, Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk) as Young Tully, Rian Gordon (Vigil) as Young Jimmy, Paul Gorman (Outlander) as Hogg and Mitchell Robertson (A Very British Scandal) as young Tibbs.

martin compston, tony curran, ephemera


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As well as Elaine C. Smith (Two Doors Down) as Barbara, Shauna Macdonald (The Descent) as Fiona, Cal MacAninch (Time) as Tibbs, Colin McCredie (River City) as Scott and the newcomer Matt Littleson as young Limbo.

Recently, Compston appeared on The One Show to discuss his heartbreaking new project and said that while the show was meant to stay neutral on assisted dying and show both points of view, the difficult subject matter made it a very moving experience.

“It’s about assisted dying and it’s a BBC show, so we have to stay neutral and show both points of view,” he explained.

ephemera, first look, 1, iona tracey ifeachor, anna ashley jensen, tully tony curran, jimmy martin compston, synchronicity films limited, jamie simpson

Jamie Simpson – BBC

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Before the actor added, “It’s the most emotional gift of being at work, as an actor you have all kinds of tools and mechanisms to get your emotion.

“I killed all my family and friends trying to piss me off, but with that, it was just the point, how good the script was and the wonderful cast directed by Tony Curran…and Tony is a dear old friend of mine. I’m proud of him.

ephemera will be broadcast on BBC iPlayer on December 27 and BBC One on December 28.

We encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to contact us. Organizations that can offer support include the Samaritans on 116 123 ( or Mind on 0300 123 3393 ( Readers in the United States are encouraged to visit or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

If you would like more information or support about living with cancer or treatment, please Click here for the advice of MacMillan Cancer SupportWhere Click here to know more Stand up to cancer.

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