Cutting It

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Cutting It
Cutting.gif
Cutting It DVD cover for series 4
Created by Debbie Horsfield
Starring Sarah Parish
Jason Merrells
Angela Griffin
Siân Reeves
Ben Daniels
Amanda Holden
Annette Badland
Christine Stephen-Daly
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 25
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC One
Original run 16 April 2002 (2002-04-16) – 12 July 2005 (2005-07-12)

Cutting It is a BBC television drama series set in Manchester, England, focusing on the lives and loves of the team running a hairdressing salon. It ran for four series between 2002 and 2005. The show featured a number of actors who have since become established stars, including Amanda Holden and Ben Daniels.

Synopsis[edit]

Series 1[edit]

In the first series, Alison Henshall, known as Allie, and her husband, Gavin Ferraday, run a hairdressing and beauty salon. Allie's sisters, Darcy and Sydney, are the salon's beautician and nail technician. Allie and Gavin also employ three more staff, hairdresser Shane, junior Ruby and accountant Eugene. Their mother, Brawdie, and father, Tom, complete the regular cast.

Finn Bevan, Allie's ex, and his current wife, Mia, open a rival salon across the road. Allie is upset as she wanted a 2nd Henshall Ferraday salon while Gavin wants to start a family. Allie is reluctant, insisting that she is not maternal and tells Finn that she got rid of their baby but he is later stunned to discover that she had the baby adopted. It later emerges that Ruby is Allie and Finn's biological daughter after Allie insists on visiting her parents to discuss Ruby's behaviour. Gavin knows that they knew each other years ago and soon realises the truth about their relationship, as does Mia. Finn makes it clear that he wants Allie back but, despite a one night stand, she is determined to stay with Gavin until he leaves, needing space. On his return, he insists Ruby tell Allie the truth and she is horrified to learn that Finn is her biological father. Gavin asks Allie to choose and she chooses Finn, leaving with him.

Other secrets that emerge during the series is the truth about Darcy being mixed race. Tom and Brawdie claim that Darcy is a throwback to Brawdie's Jamaican grandmother but when 70s singer, DC Washington, comes for the wedding that Allie and Gavin are doing the hair and beauty for, the truth is revealed. When confronted by Allie about insisting that Allie give her baby up for adoption while Brawdie kept Darcy, Brawdie insists that she wanted Allie to have a better life than her and that she'd done her a favour. It is soon clear that Brawdie blames her and Tom for wrecking her life. Darcy and Sidney are equally disgusted and despite Brawdie trying to persuade Darcy to introduce herself to DC as his daughter, she refuses, saying that Tom is her father.

A few of Allie and Gavin's friends/colleagues club together to bring a stylist up from London for some expert coaching and Gavin gives his place to Mia, much to Allie's horror. Mia is equally horrified to discover that the stylist is Chantal Morisot, her former boss and the woman she stole Finn from, and Chantal is antagonistic to Mia all day and eventually Allie confronts her about it. Chantal apologises, promises a full refund and leaves and Allie persuades Mia to come for a drink with her, her sisters and Ruby. Sydney tells them that she thinks she is expecting following a brief relationship with Finn, upsetting Mia and Allie, and Allie confides in Mia about the baby she gave up for adoption. Chantal happens to be in the same bar and when she hears Mia tell Allie that Finn will make a great father, she laughs and tells her to ask Finn's other ex-wives, Natalie and Su-Lin, about that. Sydney already has a daughter, Calypso, and clearly struggles with motherhood and refuses to allow Calypso to call her Mum.

Series 2[edit]

In the second series, Gavin is devastated by Allie leaving and trying to ease the pain, dates as many women as possible,including Allie's sister, Darcy, and her daughter, Ruby. At her grandfather's 60th birthday party, Ruby reveals Allie and Finn are her parents and Finn's colourful past, including a criminal record, four ex-wives and two more daughters, Jodie and Layla.

The next day at the salon, Gavin tells Allie that he wants a divorce and offers to buy her half of the salon and house. He renames their salon "Gavin Ferraday" and Allie takes over Mia's salon, renaming it "Allie Henshall". Shane and Darcy join her after Darcy splits from Gavin and feels she can't work with him. He promotes Ruby and employs Ravi. Ravi doesn't stay long, going to London after winning a talent competition. He dates Sydney briefly and proposes to her before leaving for London but she declines, staying in Manchester.

Sydney's daughter, Calypso, also takes part in the talent competition and was asked to go to London but Sydney refuses permission as she's too young. Allie and Darcy also found out the identity of Calypso's father.

Allie realises she made a mistake leaving Gavin and Shane tells Ruby that its only a matter of time before they get back together. Ruby insists he's wrong as she and Gavin are now together and discovers she's pregnant. Eugene gives her a shoulder to cry on and offers to be there for her but she refuses, telling Allie and Gavin about her pregnancy just as they are getting back together. Once Allie recovers from the shock, she asks Gavin to stay with Ruby, which he does. She says nothing about her own pregnancy, unsure if Finn or Gavin is the father, unaware of Finn's vasectomy eleven years ago.

The night of Allie and Gavin's one night stand, Finn had a one night stand with Mia. She assumed they would get back together and return to London but Finn let her down, telling her that he was staying with Allie and Manchester was his home now. In revenge, she told him she was late but he told her it was a false alarm and she discovered Finn's long-term affair with her mother, Zinnia, for years. Determined to hurt Finn, she set fire to both salons (he owned both) and left town.

Series 3[edit]

At the beginning of series 3, Allie and Finn tie the knot in a surprise ceremony in Naples. On their return, Allie tells Ruby who promptly asks Gavin to marry her. Allie's baby isn't due for another few weeks and resents Finn's constant fussing, insisting on organising Ruby's wedding herself. Ruby's waters break just as she reaches the altar, halting her marriage as she and Gavin rush to the hospital. Gavin goes home to fetch clothing for Ruby, giving Allie a lift. On getting home, Allie finally admits that she's in labour and Gavin delivers her baby, a boy they name Ralfie. Finn helps Ruby deliver her baby at the hospital, a girl they name Artemis.

While on maternity leave, Allie almost misses a photo shoot for a magazine. Not wanting Allie bothered, Finn calls an ex-wife, Chantal, who takes over completely but Allie, remembering the photo shoot, arrives at the salon and is joined by Ruby, Gavin and the babies. Chantal is horrified as she thought she was stepping into Mia's shoes. Finn did tell her he and Mia had split but didn't tell her that he and his new wife had had a baby. On discovering this, Chantal leaves.

Family secrets emerge again at Ralfie's christening. The priest, (Finn is Catholic), recognises Gavin. He taught Gavin at the local posh school and through him, Ruby gets in touch with Gavin's parents. Allie thought they were dead but after their behaviour at Ralfie's christening, understands why Gavin didn't want them around. Darcy's biological father, a singer called DC Washington, comes to town for a gig and Darcy goes to see him, but leaves without visiting him backstage, realising that Tom is her father because he raised her, unlike DC, who has only just discovered her existence.

Troy, manager of the coffee bar next to the salon, is Mia's half-brother. She has been in therapy for addiction to her ex and decides to visit Finn so she can apologise to him and Allie for her past behaviour. Allie sees her first and after doing Mia's hair, leaves Finn a message, warning him she is in Manchester. Finn meets her at a bar with Ralfie but seeing him with a baby (even knowing that he isn't the baby's father) sets her back and Allie finds Mia and Ralfie sat on the edge of the roof of their apartment building. Finn persuades her to give Ralfie to him and Mia falls off the roof but Finn rescues her. Mia is sectioned, Finn and Allie are warned not to take any notice of anything she said and Troy stays at her bedside.

On his return, Troy tells Ruby he wants a more personal relationship but she refuses. This changes when she finds out Finn plans to leave Allie and baby Ralfie and has a go at him for being selfish and unreliable. He lets it slip that Gavin is, in fact, Ralfie's father. Ruby is horrified and realises she made a mistake when she got together with Gavin and leaves with Artemis.

Series 4[edit]

Series 4 starts with Allie's parents remarrying; Allie and Gavin are back in business together and are even starting their own hairdressing academy. They are considering getting married and Allie thinks she's pregnant. Unfortunately her "pregnancy" is ovarian cancer. Allie is told she needs a hysterectomy and chemotherapy. Allie and Darcy keep this secret but Sydney finds the pregnancy test and thinking Allie is going to have an abortion, tells Gavin. He rushes after her and Darcy tells him the truth.

Liam (James Murray) is an investor in the Henshall Ferraday hairdressing academy. He was once part of a boy band called Gimme 5, now retired from showbusiness and looking for a new interest. He takes a shine to the woman hired as teacher for the academy, Melissa Devereux (Christine Stephen-Daly). Unfortunately, she needs some persuading to take the job as she and Gavin have met before - they had a fling while he was in Australia in series 1. He returned to the UK, leaving her to get married but things didn't work out and she came to the UK.

At one hospital appointment, Allie is told that she isn't responding to the chemo and considers stopping. Worried she doesn't have long to live, she organises a secret wedding for her and Gavin. Just after the ceremony, she has another appointment at the hospital. Shocked by the doctor's news, Allie doesn't look where she's going on leaving and is killed in a car crash. Gavin tries to replace Allie with Melissa but she realises it's too soon for Gavin to move on and dumps him.

During series 3, Darcy realised she was developing romantic feelings for Eugene and he felt the same so they started seeing each other. When Darcy started spending time with Troy, Eugene was worried until Darcy told him she wasn't having an affair because she's pregnant with his baby. The series ended with Gavin's decision to go travelling with Ralfie and gave Darcy control of the business.

Characters[edit]

Sarah Parish as Allie Henshall: A very strong and determined character in her late thirties often having moments of weakness because of unfulfilled dreams. Allie is the first-born child in her family, the oldest of three sisters. She's constantly seeking the approval and love of her mother who has never shown her much attention or affection. Allie was an idealistic and sweet young girl until her heart was broken in Italy by the man she loved (Finn Bevan) when she became pregnant and her mother forced her to give up her baby for adoption. Allie attended college to learn hair styling and met Gavin Ferraday three years later; after a five-year romance, she and Gavin married and became business partners of a hair salon. They had been running for ten years by the start of the first series. Allie still has ambition and intentions of achieving something greater in life, and due to her tragic past she has no desire to have children.

Jason Merrells as Gavin Ferraday: Described by most of his friends and colleagues as 'the most sorted man on the planet'. Gavin is confident, straightforward, good-looking and kind-hearted. Gavin's business-mindedness and expertise is what has brought the Henshall-Ferraday salon to award winning status (much to his wife Allie's resentment) through the countless celebrities he's brought in and the trophies and honours he's won. Although he's ambitious and determined like his wife, he feels he's conquered almost everything in the world of hairdressing, and wants to settle down and raise a family.

Sian Reeves as Sydney 'Syd' Henshall: Syd is in her early thirties and the resident Nail Technician at the Henshall-Ferraday Salon; she stands out with eccentric dress sense and impractical hairstyles. She's prone to fads ranging from diet and exercise, retro-religious lifestyle and modern trends. Syd focuses on romance and tends to fall in love with handsome but sometimes unobtainable men. Although mother of a teenaged daughter, she enjoys the single and free lifestyle with clubbing and drinking; Syd's maternal instincts are mixed with healthy jealousy of her beautiful youthful daughter and the responsibility of making sure her daughter is wearing catwalk designer labels. Syd tries to come off as classy and poised but often slips back into her more common persona. In the second series we discover Syd almost became a pop star through a talent show - she has a second chance to take the leap but falls back.

Angela Griffin as Darcy Henshall: Darcy is the youngest of the Henshall sisters, and is the beautician and massage therapist at the salon. While putting on a hard face, she is constantly mixed up about what she wants from life but has had a tendency to become involved with wealthy married men as she has no real desire to settle down. She often finds wealthy married men to pay her living expenses, often relying on jeweller Smedley, a long-time boyfriend who is married to the salon's publicist. Darcy often comes across as a snob, often turning her nose up at anything Smedley gives her, and expressing disdain for her mother's slovenly appearance. Darcy has had various cosmetic surgeries to fix her shortcomings, paid for her by various rich boyfriends. Darcy had been misled to believe she was mixed race due to a recessive gene through a Jamaican ancestor, and is disturbed by the revelation her real father is D-List American celebrity, D.C. Washington. Despite the revelation about her true parentage, Darcy refuses to recognise anyone other than Tom Henshall as her real father.

Annette Badland as Brawdie Henshall: Brawdie was once a pretty and lively woman who accidentally become pregnant with her first daughter by Tom Henshall, a man she had been seeing but had never cared all that much for. She always considered falling pregnant with Allie as the thing that trapped her into her marriage and the life she leads with Tom Henshall, and finds it difficult to feel anything other than resentment for Allie. An overweight, lazy, and depressed individual, she spends her time sitting in a messy house wearing leggings and ill-fitting t-shirts complaining about her family in great detail.

Bill Thomas as Tom Henshall: Tom is an understanding, idealistic, and upbeat man who has immense pride in and adoration for all of his daughters, especially Allie who he recognises needs him more than Sydney and Darcy, due to her mother's neglect and failure to accept her. Despite his wife's disregard for him, Tom is deeply in love with Brawdie and has been ever since the beginning of their relationship. Tom had always been aware of Brawdie's one-night-stand that resulted in Darcy's conception, but his love for his wife gave him the ability to forgive her and to parent the child that had been a result of that union. Tom thinks of Darcy as his daughter regardless of her true paternity, having brought her up and loved her as his own. Tom spends a great deal of time fretting over his relationship with Brawdie and goes out of his way to show her he truly loves her even if it isn't reciprocated.

Rebecca Bellamy as Calypso Henshall: Regardless of her mother Syd's constant reiteration to behave in a classy and dignified manner, Calypso often behaves as a typical and occasionally whiny British teenager. In the second series, Calypso has an opportunity to participate in a talent show, but her mother refuses her the chance to go to London to attend. Calypso occasionally resents her mother as she is made to refer to her in public as her 'sister'.

Lucy Gaskell as Ruby Ferris: Ruby grew up the only girl in a house of seven brothers; she and her siblings were all adopted by a couple who were unable to have children of their own. Ruby is an intelligent, fast thinking and occasionally scheming young lady; she often has a knack for being too brazen when it's uncalled for and runs her mouth without considering consequences, often leading her to various reprimands at work. She works at the Henshall-Ferraday salon as a junior stylist and has done for just under two years. Near the end of series 1 it is revealed Ruby is Allie's biological daughter (given up at birth) and that she had intentionally applied for a job at the salon at age sixteen so she could get to know 'the woman who had given her up'. Ruby's adoptive parents are open-minded individuals, her mother suffers with multiple sclerosis and her father grows cannabis in the attic to help tackle his wife's pain. Ruby's first serious relationship is with Eugene Eubank, the salon's accountant and reveals that she was a virgin until then.

James Midgley as Shane Ince: Shane is an outwardly gay man who works as a senior stylist in the salon; he has a reputation for being catty, and often gets himself into trouble with the wrong people. He takes great delight in beating Syd to various men and they often find themselves competing for the same guys. Shane is closer to Ruby than the rest of the salon staff but doesn't take friendship or loyalty at all seriously and will easily overturn either in favour of money.

Pearce Quigley as Eugene Eubank: The salon's resident accountant, and close friend of both Allie and Gavin, Eugene lives above the salon in a flat filled with football memorabilia. Eugene has always been deeply in love with Allie. Regardless of the unreturned feelings, it was Eugene who had to help Allie pick up the pieces when she returned from Italy pregnant and dumped. Later, Eugene became the best friend of Allie's husband Gavin, and while not being particularly brave, will set out to protect Allie from anyone who tries to hurt her - especially Finn. Eugene is obsessed with football, especially "man city" and is often the brunt of jokes in the salon. He unintentionally falls into a relationship with Ruby and later reveals that he was a virgin up until their union.

Ben Daniels as Finn Bevan: An opportunist and a sex addict, Finn is always confident in his approach to what he wants, and never falters in getting it. He shared a passionate romantic relationship with Allie when she was just seventeen years old; when Allie became pregnant, he withdrew from the relationship, reluctant to give up the backpacking trip he'd been planning for a year. Finn has been married four times already, and has two 'unwanted' children with two of his wives. A self-made man upon his return to Manchester, he is incredibly wealthy and owns two bars with a third called Byzantium opening upon the start of series one. He intends to win the already married Allie back, even if it means dropping his beautiful and infatuated wife, Mia. Finn reveals that although he has been a womanizer during his life, that Allie was the face behind every woman he had ever been with as he tried desperately to forget her.

Amanda Holden as Mia Bevan: Mia forces herself forward as a confident and sickly sweet young woman in her late twenties (although speculation was made that she may have lied about her age). Mia was a mousy and shy assistant stylist for Finn Bevan's third wife Chantalle who had spent most of the time belittling her and trying to convince her to give hairdressing up as she had no style and vision. Shortly after, Mia began sleeping with Finn and later Finn divorced Chantalle to be with Mia. Finn helped Mia to become more confident and opportunist, elegant and charming. Mia is fully aware of Finn's tendency to 'play away from home', but overlooks it convinced that he will always return home to her; she refers to him as being like a child who needs constant attention and variety which she can't always be bothered to give him. Mia is sharp and scheming and when her husband opens 'Blade Runners' for her, she uses every trick she can to try and bring Allie's salon down as revenge for her affair with Finn.

German remake[edit]

A re-make of the series called Bis in die Spitzen was broadcast by Sat. 1 in Germany in 2005 and 2006. The re-make was set in Berlin and ran for 13 episodes (which included the storylines of the original seasons one and two). Despite critical acclaim, viewing figures were lower than expected and so was axed by the channel after just one series. A four-disc DVD box-set was released on 24 March 2006.

External links[edit]