Doctor Foster spin off Life: start date, pictures, cast, and all you need to know

Life BBC1 Victoria Hamilton as Belle
(Image credit: BBC/Drama Republic/Claudia Leisinger)

Doctor Foster spin off Life is about to start on BBC1

Life, which is a spin off to the incredible successful Suranne Jones hit Doctor Foster, arrives on BBC1 on Tuesday September 29th.

Written by Doctor Foster writer Mike Bartlett, it will see Victoria Hamilton reprise her Doctor Foster role. But in a twist the character she plays, Anna Baker, is now going under the name of Belle and seeking to rebuild her life after her divorce.

Anna, or Belle as we should now call her, was Gemma’s neighbour in Doctor Foster. Life is one of a number of new shows heading to the BBC including Roadkill, which stars Hugh Laurie.

Will Suranne Jones and Jodie Comer appear in new Doctor Foster spin off Life?

Doctor Foster

Doctor Foster was a huge hit (Image credit: BBC/Drama Republic/Warren Orchar)

No, neither Suranne Jones or Jodie Comer are reprising their roles from Doctor Foster. The hit drama ran for two series following Dr Gemma Foster (Suranne Jones) as she suspects her husband Simon (Bertie Carvel) is having an affair. Simon was of course having an affair with Kate Parks, played by Killing Eve’s Jodie.

Life release date: When will Life be shown on BBC1?

TV tonight Life

Doctor Foster star Victoria Hamilton returns for Life (Image credit: BBC/Drama Republic)

Life will begin on Tuesday 29th September at 9pm on BBC1 (see our TV Guide for full listings).

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What’s the plot of Life?

Life tells the story of the residents of a large house divided into four flats. It will follow four different stories that all intertwine. The Beeb says Life will explore "love, loss, birth, death, the ordinary, the extraordinary and everything in between".

Who’s in the cast?

Alison Steadman and Peter Davison in BBC1 drama Life

Gail (Alison Steadman) together with Henry (Peter Davison) in Life (Image credit: BBC/Drama Republic/Gary Moyes)

Victoria Hamilton stars as pilates teacher Belle, who’s new life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of her chaotic 15-year-old niece Maya (Erin Kellyman). There’s further complications when her ex husband Neil (Adam James) turns up in the series.

"Belle has been through a sticky divorce and, like everyone in this show, she's struggling," explains Hamilton.

Meanwhile, Gail (Gavin and Stacey’s Alison Steadman), who is married to Henry (Doctor Who’s Peter Davison), sees her life turned upside down by a chance encounter.

Talking about her character, Alison says: “On the surface, Gail seems happy. She and Henry have two children and are reasonably well-off, so she’s got a good life. But she realises she needs to do more before it’s too late, not just cooking and cleaning for Henry.”

Life BBC1 with Adrian Lester and Rachel Stirling

Adrian Lester and Rachel Stirling in BBC1's Life (Image credit: BBC/Drama Republic/Neil Sherwood)

Meanwhile, David (Adrian Lester) risks his marriage to Kelly (Rachael Stirling) when he meets the impulsive Saira (Saira Choudhry) on holiday. And heavily pregnant Hannah (Melissa Johns) has her nice life with Liam (Joshua James) upended when the man she had a one night stand with, Andy (Calvin Demba), pops up again…

Is there a trailer for Life?

"Live together... love together," says the trailer, as we see tears and lots of drama in the short trailer.

How many parts is it?

Life, which was filmed in and around Manchester, is six parts.

Life starts on Tuesday 29th September at 9pm on BBC1.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!