There is definitely a gap in the market for a new streaming series about being a twentysomething London enduring the city’s maddening rental market… and Flatshare could well be that show.
It’s adapted by screenwriter Rose Lewenstein from a book by Londoner Beth O’Leary, which was hailed as a ‘Sleepless In Seattle for the 21st century’ when it came out in 2019. Alongside those gushing Nora Ephron comparisons, ‘The Flatshare’ also had critics reaching for Richard Curtis parallels, although the kind of flat it’s set in is nothing like the chi-chi west London pads that pop up in Curtis’s movie.
What is Flatshare about?
The story has two brassic young Londoners sharing a bed – despite having never met. Tiffany works as a content provider at a website by day and Leon works as a palliative care nurse at a hospice by night, and he rents out his one-bedroom flat to her between 6pm and 8am. And, despite them never crossing paths and Leon having a girlfriend, an affection begins to form between them via the unlikely medium of Post-it Notes.
Who is in Flatshare?
Playing Tiffany and Leon are Jessica Brown Findlay (The Riot Club, Munich: The Edge of War) and Anthony Welsh (The Great, Fleabag) It’ll be a definite change of bathroom size for Brown Findlay, who is best known for playing Lady Sybil Crawley in Downton Abbey.
Also appearing is The Witcher’s Bart Edwards as Tiffany’s toxic ex-boyfriend, Justin, and Gangs of London’s Shaq B Grant as Leon’s incarcerated brother, Richie. Shaniqua Okwok (It's a Sin) and Jonah Hauer-King, Prince Eric in the new live action Little Mermaid, play Tiffany’s best mates Maia and Mo.
It’s partly directed by The Full Monty filmmaker Peter Cattaneo and is filming in Bristol, London and Brighton.
Behind the series is Paramount+, a new streaming platform due to launch in the UK in the summer. There’s no word on the launch date as yet, but Flatshare will be one of 50 new shows the streamer will be producing worldwide in 2022.
‘We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Beth O’Leary’s captivating bestseller to television,’ say executive-producers Miriam Brent, Rory Aitken and Eleanor Moran. ‘Bursting with wit and heart, Flatshare is the perfect love story for a global millennial audience. With Jessica Brown Findlay and Anthony Welsh as our leads, we can’t wait for audiences to fall in love with Tiffany and Leon all over again.’
Author Beth O'Leary shared some first-look images with fans via her Instagram profile, after they were revealed on the Stylist Magazine website.
'From these three images alone, I think you can already see just how beautiful this show is,' she told fans. 'I cannot wait for you to meet Jessie and Anthony's Tiffy and Leon – and the whole incredible cast.'
The 50 best romcom movies of all time.
Anatomy of a Scandal: everything you need to know about Netflix’s must-see thriller.