The Lovers: release date, cast, plot, trailer, interviews and all about the comedy drama

The Lovers on Sky Atlantic stars Roisin Gallagher and Johnny Flynn as a mismatched couple in Belfast.
The Lovers on Sky Atlantic stars Roisin Gallagher and Johnny Flynn as a mismatched couple in Belfast. (Image credit: Sky)

Comedy romance The Lovers on Sky Atlantic will show us that just when you think two people are utterly wrong for one another, they might actually be the perfect match. 

Starring Genius actor Johnny Flynn and The Fall star Roisin Gallagher, the six-part series arriving in 2023 follows sweary Belfast supermarket worker Janet as she finds herself falling for suave, egotistical political broadcaster Seamus. Can you really find your soulmate in the most unlikely of places? It seems you can...

Here’s everything you need to know about Sky Atlantic series The Lovers...

Roisin Gallagher and Johnny Flynn as The Lovers.

Roisin Gallagher and Johnny Flynn as The Lovers. (Image credit: Sky)

The Lovers release date

The Lovers is a six-part series that will launch on Sky Atlantic and NOW on Thursday September 7 at 9pm, so it's a big part of Sky's 2023 Autumn TV. The entire series will also be available on Sky Box Sets from that date. We'll update on any US or international air dates and which US channel The Lovers will arrive on.

Is there a trailer for The Lovers? 

Yes there's a trailer for The Lovers and the romance between the mismatched screen pair looks fun! Do take a look below...

The Lovers plot

The Lovers is a six-parter that follows Belfast shop worker Janet (Roisin Gallagher) who doesn’t care much about anything including her own life. So when a handsome political broadcaster Seamus (Johnny Flynn) climbs into her back yard she really shouldn’t give him much thought. After all he’s selfish, seems to have the perfect life in London, and has hooked up with a celebrity girlfriend Frankie (Alice Eve). The pair are poles apart yet for some reason they seem to be inexplicably drawn to one another, showing that sometimes love can show up in entirely the wrong place. 

Janet and Seamus seeing eye to eye.

Janet and Seamus seeing eye to eye. (Image credit: Sky)

Alice Eve and Johnny Flynn as Seamus and his celebrity girlfriend.

Alice Eve and Johnny Flynn as Seamus and his celebrity girlfriend Frankie. (Image credit: Sky)

The Lovers cast — Roisin Gallagher on playing Janet

In The Lovers, Roisin Gallagher plays the potty-mouthed and hilarious Janet. 

Roisin reveals: "Janet jumped off the script. I instantly cared about her. I think people will recognise Janet, if not her cheeky, hard edge then they’ll recognise her strength and grit.

"Janet’s had a hard paper round, as we say in Belfast. She has had some bad experiences, but she’s trying to hang in there. I find her very courageous. She has an epic sense of humour that she uses to cover up her many insecurities, because she’s very lost when we first meet her. 

"Like all good love stories, Janet and Seamus' relationship is full of tension, obstacles, desire, thrill, expectation... disappointment. It’s beautiful to see these two creatures connect with each other despite having nothing in common and very different views on the world.

"Johnny Flynn is great craic! He is so much fun to work with, and is a very kind and generous actor. I feel that playing opposite Johnny makes me better at what I do as he asks great questions that can expand the potential of a scene. I’m learning from him every day. I don’t know if he realises that, but I do!"

* Earlier this year Roisin Gallagher starred in the series The Dry playing Shiv, an alcoholic who returns from London to family life in Dublin. She’s also had roles in The Fall, Come Home, Made In Belfast and Doctors.

Roisin Gallagher on playing Janet.

Roisin Gallagher playing supermarket worker Janet in The Lovers. (Image credit: Sky)

The Dry on Britbox saw Roisin Gallagher's Shiv trying to stay sober.

The Dry saw Roisin Gallagher's character Shiv trying to stay sober. (Image credit: BritBox)

Johnny Flynn on playing Seamus in The Lovers

Johnny Flynn, who plays political broadcaster Seamus in The Lovers, reveals: "At the beginning of the story, Seamus and Janet are so entrenched in their exterior identities. But through waves of discovery, they get to find their true selves. David always talks about them being two aspects of his own psyche battling it out, which I really love. 

"Seamus is a semi-famous current affairs journalist who has just been given his first TV show. At first, he comes across as arrogant, but it’s actually a facility for hiding trauma – and I’ve enjoyed revealing this as the story goes on. It’s fun leaning into those slightly Alan Partridge facets of him and then taking them away and going, ‘Oh, he’s actually sweet’.

"Life is messy and Seamus isn’t perfect. He doesn’t deal with his situation in the best way. It’s good storytelling because it doesn’t let Seamus off the hook. You should feel angry with him and hurt for Frankie, but it shows that not everybody is perfect for each other. The story is told in a responsible way because it emphasises that Frankie hasn’t done anything wrong."

* Johnny Flynn has previously starred as William Dobbin in the mini series Vanity Fair and played a young Albert Einstein in Genius. He’s also had roles in Les Miserables, Lovesick, Operation Mincemeat and The Dig. He also played David Bowie in the film Stardust. Johnny will voice Bob Cratchit in the upcoming Netflix film Scrooge: A Christmas Carol. He'll also be starring as Dickie Greenleaf in the Sky Atlantic series Ripley in 2023.

Johnny Flynn as suave executive Seamus in The Lovers.

Johnny Flynn plays suave executive Seamus in The Lovers. (Image credit: Sky)

Who else is starring in The Lovers?

The Lovers also stars Game of Thrones and Holding actor Conleth Hill, playing Janet’s boss at the supermarket called Philip, and Belgravia actress Alice Eve as the celebrity girlfriend of Seamus.

Conleth says: "David Ireland is a terrific writer. I’ve directed two of his plays and two short films that he wrote, but I’d never actually acted in anything that he had written. There’s a lovely neurosis about his writing. It’s probably very tortuous for him, but it’s very funny for us. 

"Philip is the manager of the supermarket where Janet works and she’s not an ideal employee. She’s very lippy, but he’s very patient and understanding with her. He’s fond of her and thinks there’s more to her than meets the eye. He reckons underneath it all she’s worth helping, whereas he’d happily show the other staff the door. 

"The facilities and experience of the TV crews in Northern Ireland is second to none – from Game of Thrones to Line of Duty and Blue Lights. Belfast is unique as well, because you can be in the city centre and within 15 minutes you’re in the middle of nowhere, in the woods or the mountains. It’s unreal."

Supermarket duo.

Supermarket duo... Janet with boss Phillip (Conleth Hill). (Image credit: Sky)

TV tonight PJ seeks justice.

Conleith Hill as PJ in Holding. (Image credit: ITV)

Behind the scenes, locations and more on The Lovers

The Lovers is produced by Drama Republic, in association with Sky Studios. It's written by award winning playwright David Ireland (Cyprus Avenue, Ulster American) and directed by BAFTA winning Justin Martin (Together, Prima Facie),

Roanna Benn and Rebecca de Souza, Executive Producers for Drama Republic, say: “We're so excited that David’s beautifully crafted, romantic and subversive story is being brought to life by such a brilliant team and cast - with the hugely talented Justin Martin at the helm.”

Locations manager Scott Houston says: "I’ve lived in East Belfast for 15 years. So I knew the area quite well. We do a lot of locations here. We double for London, we double for Birmingham, we double for all these other places. So it’s great when we get something that’s written about Belfast, which sometimes gets shown in a poor light. It’s good to see a script like this that puts a bit of life and a bit of imagination back into the city."

* Guides to more great series on Sky are below...

The Lazaraus Project
A Town Called Malice
Funny Woman
The Midwich Cuckoos
The Fear Index

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.