A Passionate Woman

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A Passionate Woman
Written byKay Mellor
Directed byAntonia Bird
Kay Mellor
StarringBillie Piper
Theo James
Joe Armstrong
Sue Johnston
Kelly Harrison
Composer(s)Mark Bradshaw
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes2 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Nicola Shindler
Polly Hill
Hugo Heppell
Producer(s)Yvonne Francas
Production location(s)Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Running time90 minutes (x2)
Production company(s)Rollem Productions in association with Screen Yorkshire for BBC
Original networkBBC One
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release11 April (2010-04-11) – 18 April 2010 (2010-04-18)

A Passionate Woman is a British two-part Drama mini-series that aired on BBC One from 11 to 18 April 2010.


Piper plays Betty Stevenson, a 1950s mother who is married to Donald (Joe Armstrong). Together they have one baby, but Betty is bored and falls in love with her Polish neighbour, Alex Crazenovski (Craze), played by Theo James. The two begin an affair and Craze sends a letter to Betty asking her to run away with him. She responds in kind and her letter is found by Craze's pregnant wife, who promptly seeks him out at the fairground where he works and shoots him dead. With her lover dead, Betty continues her life with Donald.[1]

The story then moves forward to the 1980s where Betty's son, Mark (Andrew Lee Potts), is getting married and her affair becomes public knowledge. In episode one, largely set in the 1950s, Bille Piper plays Betty. In episode two, largely set in the 1980s, Sue Johnston plays Betty.[2]


Kay Mellor was inspired to write the story after her own mother confessed to having an affair with a Polish neighbour in the 1950s when Mellor's mother and father lived in a poorer area of Leeds.[3] Just like the story, the unnamed Pole was killed which ended her mother's affair which she had kept secret for 30 years before revealing all.[4] Mellor explained that with her mother being dead for three years, it was a way of bringing her back to life.[2]

The work was originally a play that had first been performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 1992 before moving on to the West End. Mellor admitted that the film rights had been mooted but she feared the production would end up with '...Cher on a roof-top in Detroit.'[5]

Filming locations[edit]

Screen Yorkshire invested £250,000 in the programme and supplied crew for the filming locations.[6] External scenes were filmed at Roundhay Park, Hyde Terrace, Hyde Park Cinema, Blenheim Square and the City Centre Market in Leeds with additional filming undertaken in Bradford and Ilkley. Other parts were also recorded at Studio 81 in Leeds.[7]


# Title Director Writer Original airdate
1"Episode 1"Kay Mellor and Antonia BirdKay Mellor11 April 2010 (2010-04-11)
2"Episode 2"Kay Mellor and Antonia BirdKay Mellor18 April 2010 (2010-04-18)


  1. ^ Walton, James (9 April 2010). "Foyle's War, ITV1, review". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Passionate Billie Piper". Manchester Evening News. 12 January 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  3. ^ Stelfox, Hilarie (14 October 2016). "Kay Mellor's A Passionate Woman comes to Lawrence Batley Theatre". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  4. ^ Clayton, Emma (8 April 2010). "Bradford actors join a big-name cast in writer Kay Mellor's moving family drama". Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  5. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (29 September 2009). "Billie Piper to follow Doctor Who with BBC1's A Passionate Woman". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Billie Piper films in Leeds for BBC drama". Yorkshire Evening Post. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  7. ^ "A Passionate Woman". Screen Yorkshire. Retrieved 14 October 2016.

External links[edit]