Smoggie Queens: cast, plot, first look and everything we know

Smoggie Queens is a BBC comedy set in Middlesbrough.
Smoggie Queens is a BBC comedy set in Middlesbrough. (Image credit: BBC)

Smoggie Queens is a BBC Three and BBCiPlayer comedy that follows a volatile youngster growing up with like-minded friends in the small northeastern town of Middlesbrough. This six-part comedy created by Phil Dunning, shows their pride in the town, which feels neglected in its own little corner of the UK, and their own underdog stories as they explore their identities in their own tiny pocket of the LGBTQ+ community. 

"I'm absolutely buzzing that the BBC are taking Smoggie Queens to series and I'm so grateful to them for allowing me to write such stupid and weird characters," says Phil. "It’s been a beautiful dream working with Hat Trick, and the incredible cast already feel like my new chosen family. I can’t wait to introduce the sights, sounds and smells of Middlesbrough to the world." 

Here’s everything you need to know about Smoggie Queens

Smoggie Queens release date

Smoggie Queens is a six-part series that will air on BBC Three and iPlayer in either 2024 and 2025. As soon as a date is released, we’ll notify you on here. 

Smoggie Queens plot

Smoggie Queens follows a quirky bunch of LGBTQ+ friends who are also drag queens as they embrace their identities within their community. It focuses on Dickie (played by Phil Dunning), drag queen Mam (Mark Benton), Lucinda (Alexandra Mardell), awkward Sal (Patsy Lowe) and newcomer Stewart (Elijah Young). We’re told you can "expect a few passionate scraps that may send your wig flying".

Smoggie Queens cast — Phil Dunning as Dickie

As well as creating the series, Phil Dunning stars as Dickie. He played Andrew in the BBC drama series Boat Story and has also had roles in Am I Being Unreasonable?, Ellie and Natasia, The Other One, Lazy Susan and The Emily Atack Show

Who else is starring?

Other cast in Smoggie Queens are Shakespeare and Hathaway star Mark Benton plays drag queen Mam while former Coronation Street star Alexandra Mardell is Lucinda. Patsy Lowe (Vera) is Sal and Elijah Young (BoyCrush) is Stewart. 

Shakespeare & Hathaway Season 4: Mark Benton and Jo Joyner in character as Frank Hathaway and Lu Shakespeare, standing in front of French windows, with Frank giving a quizzical aside glance

Mark Benton and Jo Joyner in Shakespeare & Hathaway season 4. (Image credit: BBC)

Is there a trailer? 

No, not yet. But if and when the BBC releases one, we’ll post it onto this page. 

Behind the scenes and more

Smoggie Queens is written by Phil Dunning and is a Hat Trick production (Derry Girls, Outnumbered, Have I Got News For You and Episodes) for BBC Three and BBC iPlayer, and funding support by North East Screen Industries Partnership delivered by North East Screen with worldwide distribution by Hat Trick International. The series was commissioned by Jon Petrie, Director of BBC Comedy. The producer is Chris Jones (Kate & Koji, Whistle Through The Shamrocks) and the director is Andrew Chaplin (Alma’s Not Normal, The Full Monty). The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Gregor Sharp.

Chris Jones, Producer at Hat Trick Productions says: “Phil Dunning has a brilliantly funny, energetic and well-observed style to his writing. It’s been extremely special to develop this fiercely proud chosen family sitcom with him along with exceptional support from BBC Comedy. We’re so excited to bring these characters to life through our very talented cast and crew.”

Jon Petrie, Director of BBC Comedy says: “Smoggie Queens is a show bursting with jokes and heart. Phil Dunning has concocted a brilliant ensemble piece that we know will refuse to go unnoticed!.”

Jimmy Mulville, Managing Director of Hat Trick Productions, says: “Smoggie Queens is a joy. Phil has created and stars in a show which is introducing us to our new best friends. They‘re the kind of people who look adversity in the eye and laugh!  It’s just the tonic we need right now.”

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.