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Hullraisers season 1 — air date, stars, trailer, filming locations, and exclusive interviews

Hullraisers main cast. Taj Atwal as Rana, Leah Brotherhead as Toni and Sinéad Matthews as Paula.
Hullraisers main cast. Taj Atwal as Rana, Leah Brotherhead as Toni and Sinéad Matthews as Paula. (Image credit: Channel4)

Hullraisers is a warm new friendship comedy, full of crackling Hullian dialogue, refreshingly forthright characters, and situations that would curl your hair. 

Based on Israeli sitcom Little Mom, Hullraisers has been adapted for C4 by Lucy Beaumont (Meet the Richardsons), Anne-Marie O’Connor (Trollied) and Caroline Moran (Raised by Wolves).

The six-part series introduces blunt-talking best friends Rana, Toni and Paula, as they juggle work, kids, and each other. 

Here’s everything we know…

Hullraisers - release date

Hullraisers debuts on Channel 4 on Tuesday, April 12 at 9.45pm. The six-parter will also be available to watch in boxset form on All4.

Hullraisers - is there a trailer?

The trailer for Hullraisers has landed and gives a good taster of what to expect, with outrageous scenarios, colourful characters, and more than one familiar comedy face among the cast. 

Hullraisers - premise 

Set in Hull, the six-part series revolves around lifelong pals Rana, Toni and Paula. 

The series opens with Toni (Leah Brotherhead) desperate for a wild night out, as partner Craig (Perry Fitzpatrick) agrees to stay home with their daughter Grace. 

However, her best friend, libido-led police officer Rana (Taj Atwal), is preoccupied with a new conquest, so Toni ends up at her sister Paula’s (Sinéad Matthews) giving her teenage niece a terrifying talk on the facts of life!

Speaking exclusively to What To Watch, co-writer Lucy Beaumont explains:  “It's somewhere between Motherland, Derry Girls and Shameless, but not really.  

“It’s trying to champion an underrepresented place, but be an authentic comedy. I think we’ve got the tone right. It’s working class, but not council estate chic!”

Taj Atwal as Rana holding a garden gnome.

Gnome sweet gnome. Rana knows where her priorities lie in episode 1 of Hullraisers. (Image credit: Channel4)

Who’s who in Hullraisers

Toni (Leah Brotherhead) 

Toni is played by Zomboat! star Leah Brotherhead and is described by C4 as “an impulsive but big-hearted tornado of chaos. She’s a self-described actress with no acting jobs (she can be found ‘auditioning’ to hand out cheese samples in a supermarket car park). She adores her 4-year-old daughter Grace and her soulmate Craig, but she still dreams of escaping Hull and craves her pre-parenthood life.”

Rana (Taj Atwal)

Rana is played by The Syndicate’s Taj Atwal and is described as: “a powerhouse policewoman whose daily life is ruled by her libido. She’d rather ‘investigate’ the full spectrum of Hull’s hottest bachelors than settle down.”

Paula (Sinéad Matthews) 

Paula is played by Chewing Gum’s Sinéad Matthews and is described as: “Toni’s down-to-earth, matriarchal big sister who married childhood sweetheart Dane - Rana’s big brother - and had two kids, 17-year-old Ashley and 7-year-old Jake. Paula is Toni’s polar opposite: for her, there’s ‘no place like Hull’, and she just can’t understand Toni’s constant need for more.”

Hullraisers cast in character. Taj Atwal as police officer Rana, Leah Brotherhead as Toni and Sinéad Matthews as Paula.

Let them eat cake. The Hullraisers trio know how to enjoy themselves.  (Image credit: Channel4)

“The women’s friendship is authentic, chaotic and real. It’s not hand-holding and stroking hair. It’s the side of friendship you don’t see as much. They’re brutally honest,” says Stella star Taj. 

“They are all chalk and cheese. They shouldn't be friends. It's despite that, the things that they pretend to not like in each other, are actually the things that they love,” explains Lucy. “They love that Toni is quirky and wants to get out of Hull. They love that Rana is sexy and dominant, but they would never tell her that.”

“It feels like they’re arguing, but they’re not. It's that sisterly thing – they can say whatever they want about each other, but no one else can.

“That’s Hull! It’s full of warm-hearted, confrontational people!”

Leah Brotherhead as Toni, as she gatecrashes a wake.

Toni gatecrashes a wake being held by an Irish widow, Irene - played by Corrie's Dearbhla Molloy - aka Helen Connor. (Image credit: Channel4)

Ensemble cast and guest stars

Perry Fitzpatrick (Line of Duty) plays Toni’s partner Craig, Felicity Montagu (Alan Partridge) stars as his formidable mother Gloria, and Shobna Gulati (Coronation Street) is Rana’s glamorous mum, Nima. 

“As a British Asian actress, it’s rare to play a role that’s so sexually empowered,” says Taj about Rana, adding: “It’s also rare to see Asian mothers portrayed like glam and confident Nima.” 

Paula’s husband Dane is played by Yanick Ghanty (Spy Wars), and a superb, scene-stealing Natalie Davies (Coronation Street) stars as their teenage daughter Ashley.

Dearbhla Molloy (Coronation Street) guest stars as a grieving widow in episode 1, and Craig Parkinson (Doctor Who) makes an appearance later in the series. 

Perry Fitzpatrick as Craig, devoted dad to Grace, who he holds in his arms.

Saving Grace. Perry Fitzpatrick as lovable dad Craig. (Image credit: Channel4)

Where is Hullraisers filmed?

Hullraisers was filmed in Leeds and Hull. 

“It was filmed with a Hull and Leeds based crew, which I was so chuffed about,” reveals Lucy.

“You do hear about things saying that they are based in the North, and then you look into it and it's like, No, it's not! Everyone's come up from London to do it. 

“I was really proud that they could [film here]. And some of the crew, it was their first job. So it's given them a leg up into the industry.”

Taj adds: “I love Hull, it’s gorgeous. The Avenues are absolutely beautiful.”

Scene of historic port city Hull, with the three main cast in foreground.

Hullraisers is loud and proud when it comes to the historic port city of Hull and all who live there. (Image credit: Channel4)

Hullraisers airs on Channel 4 on Tuesday, April 12 at 9.45pm. The six-parter will also be available on All4.

Elaine Reilly
Elaine Reilly

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and (opens in new tab)www.whattowatch.com (opens in new tab) covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.

 

As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 


After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.