Prisoners' Wives

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Prisoners’ Wives
Genre Drama
Created by Julie Gearey
Written by Julie Gearey
James Graham
Chloe Moss
Starring Polly Walker
Pippa Haywood
Sally Carman (series 2)
Karla Crome (series 2)
Emma Rigby (Series 1)
Natalie Gavin (Series 1)
Composer(s) Daniel Pemberton
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 10 (to 4 April 2013)
Executive producer(s) Roanna Benn
Rebecca de Souza
Julie Gearey
Producer(s) Anna Ferguson
Location(s) Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Running time 59 minutes
Production company(s) Tiger Aspect Productions
Distributor Endemol UK
Original network BBC One
Picture format 16:9 (HDTV)
Original release 31 January 2012 (2012-01-31) – 4 April 2013 (2013-04-04)
External links
Production website

Prisoners' Wives is a BBC drama series, created and written by Julie Gearey and starring Polly Walker, Pippa Haywood, Emma Rigby, Natalie Gavin, Sally Carman and Karla Crome, with supporting cast including Iain Glen, Adam Gillen, Jonas Armstrong, Reuben Johnson, Enzo Cilenti and Owen Roe. The series centres on four very different women, each struggling to cope with a significant man in her life serving time in prison.[1][2][3] The series is set in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

Series one was six episodes long, and premiered on Tuesday 31 January 2012. Series two was a shorter run of four episodes, and began on Thursday 14 March 2013 on BBC One.[4][5]

Main cast[edit]

Series 1[edit]

  • Emma Rigby as Gemma Roscoe, Innocent, trusting and kind, all Gemma has ever wanted is a family. She thought she’d hit the jackpot when she married Steve and is expecting their first child, but her world is turned upside down when her loving husband is arrested for murder. Vulnerable and naïve, initially Gemma seems ill-equipped to cope with this crisis, but don’t be fooled, Gemma has an inner strength and fortitude that will surprise us all.
  • Polly Walker as Francesca Miller, A gangster’s wife who’s been there, done it and bought the T-shirt. Confident, dynamic and fun, Francesca takes life in her stride and has everything she’s ever wanted – a gorgeous house, a successful marriage and two high-achieving children. But for all of Francesca’s outward self- assurance, hidden underneath is a complex, lonely woman who misses her husband desperately.
  • Pippa Haywood as Harriet Allison, Unconfident and anxious, middle-aged Harriet is withdrawn. Widowed some years earlier, her world has become very small. Always one to avoid conflict, Harriet papers over the cracks rather than deal with a problem. But now Harriet’s got a BIG problem; her only son, Gavin, has been sent to prison. Straight-laced Harriet is forced to come out of her shell, and in doing so, reveals a surprising inner anarchy hidden just beneath the surface.
  • Natalie Gavin as Lou Bell, A heroine underdog, Lou’s had a tough upbringing. She is determined to give her son Mason the opportunities she never had. Feisty and courageous, but also volatile and deeply cynical, Lou pushes people away. But with her boyfriend in prison, and her son struggling with his Dad’s absence, Lou has never needed the support of others more.

Series 2[edit]

  • Polly Walker as Francesca Miller, Fearless, dynamic and fun, Francesca is a glamorous gangster’s wife who is devoted to her family. Focussed on raising her two teenage children she has always turned a blind eye to her husband’s business. But as a gangland turf-war is brought to her doorstep, Francesca takes an unknown step into the criminal underworld.
  • Pippa Haywood as Harriet Allison, Unconfident and anxious, Harriet is the mother of Gavin, a peculiar, impressionable boy in a hard man’s world. Visiting her son in prison has opened up the world for widow Harriet, and now she is on the pursuit of love. But she couldn’t have chosen a more complicated suitor in Ian, the Prison Chaplain, especially as Gavin has found solidarity in a group of inmates whose protective brotherhood is not what it seems.
  • Sally Carman as Kim Haines, Determined and self-assured, Kim is married to loving family man Mick, and has life perfectly under control. But when her neighbours from hell accuse her husband of the most heinous of crimes, Kim’s world is turned upside down. As Mick struggles to cope with prison life, Kim battles to prove his innocence - and secrets she’d rather forget come back to haunt her.
  • Karla Crome as Aisling O'Connor, Gutsy, cheerful and honest, Aisling is the loyal prisoners’ daughter of Brendan, a petty criminal and repeat offender. Old beyond her years and recently engaged to be married, Aisling craves the stability her irrepressible but feckless father never gave her. Her reliable fiancée is the polar opposite of her Dad, and for now, Aisling thinks he is everything she wants.

Supporting cast[edit]

Series 1[edit]

Series 2[edit]


Series 1[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
1 "Episode 1" Damon Thomas Julie Gearey 31 January 2012 (2012-01-31) 5.62
2 "Episode 2" Damon Thomas Julie Gearey 7 February 2012 (2012-02-07) 5.96
3 "Episode 3" Damon Thomas James Graham 14 February 2012 (2012-02-14) 5.18
4 "Episode 4" Harry Bradbeer Chloe Moss 21 February 2012 (2012-02-21) 4.69
5 "Episode 5" Harry Bradbeer Julie Gearey 28 February 2012 (2012-02-28) 4.98
6 "Episode 6" Harry Bradbeer Julie Gearey 6 March 2012 (2012-03-06) 5.16

Series 2[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
7 "Episode 1" Harry Bradbeer Julie Gearey 14 March 2013 (2013-03-14) 4.94
8 "Episode 2" Harry Bradbeer Julie Gearey 21 March 2013 (2013-03-21) 4.96
9 "Episode 3" Harry Bradbeer Julie Gearey 28 March 2013 (2013-03-28) 4.74
10 "Episode 4" Harry Bradbeer Julie Gearey 4 April 2013 (2013-04-04) 4.79


Prisoners’ Wives is executive produced for Tiger Aspect. by Roanna Benn, Rebecca de Souza and Greg Brenman (Tiger's Head of Drama) and for the BBC by Christopher Aird. Damon Thomas and Harry Bradbeer direct with Anna Ferguson as producer and Abi Bach as co-producer. The series was commissioned for BBC One by Ben Stephenson and Danny Cohen for airing in early 2012.


The first series attracted an average consolidated audience of 5.26 million. The average consolidated audience for the second series was 4.86 million.


  1. ^ Nicola Methven (18 November 2011). "Move over Mistresses – it's time for new BBC1 drama Prisoners' Wives". Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Polly Walker to Star in BBC Drama Prisoners' Wives". BestBritishTv. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  3. ^ CM4. "Prisoners' Wives". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "'Prisoners' Wives' second series confirmed". Digital Spy. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "BARB Top 30s". 
  7. ^ "BARB Top 30s". 

External links[edit]