Turn your TV volume up to 11 in anticipation of We Are Lady Parts, coming to Channel 4 in the UK and Peacock in the US.
The brain child of writer and director Nida Manzoor the contemporary comedy about an all female Muslim punk band started life as Lady Parts, a C4 Comedy Blap in 2019, and has now reformed for an exhilarating six-part series.
Nida says: 'I had such a blast making the C4 Comedy Blap and am so thrilled to have the opportunity to make a full series. The show is so close to my heart and I feel very lucky to be working with the incredible people at Channel 4 and WTTV who have been so supportive and encouraging throughout.'
Microbiology student and part-time music teacher Amina Hussein (Hang Ups’ Anjana Vasan) is reluctantly recruited to punk band Lady Parts as their lead guitarist. Amina doesn’t want to join, but she does want a date with the drummer’s dreamboat brother Ahsan so agrees to audition.
Fresh, fun, comically attuned and featuring original songs We Are Lady Parts also stars Sarah Kameela Impey (Halcyon Heights) as fearsome front woman Saira, Juliette Motamed (Lady Parts original short) as strong-minded drummer Ayesha, Faith Omole (Endeavour) as the band’s artistic bassist Bisma, and Lucie Shorthouse (Bulletproof) as their enigmatic manager Momtaz.
The supporting cast includes Shobu Kapoor (EastEnders, Citizen Khan) as Amina’s unconventional mum Seema, Zaqi Ismail (Britannia) plays Ahsan, the object of Amina’s affections, and Aiysha Hart (Line of Duty) stars as Amina’s straight-laced best friend Noor.
We Are Lady Parts release date
Episode one of We Are Lady Parts debuted on C4 on Thursday 20 May 2021. All six episodes are now available on All4.
In the US, We Are Lady Parts will launch on NBCUniversal's streaming service Peacock on Thursday 3 June.
Is there a trailer for We Are Lady Parts?
Yes! Channel 4 have released this trailer introducing the band and leaving us crying out for more, more, more (and an encore)...
Meet the band Lady Parts...
Our guide to who's who in We Are Lady Parts...
'Casting Anjana as Amina was quite fast. She’s musical, can do incredible comedy, but also the darker more dramatic moments. As soon as Anjana slotted into place the key piece was there. The rest of the casting took a while but was quite a joyful experience,’ says Nida Manzoor. ‘It required each cast member to be believably punk, musical and comedic. It was quite intense but so exciting.'
We Are Lady Parts cast - Anjana Vasan as Amina
Anjana Vasan takes centre stage as microbiology student and part-time music teacher Amina Hussain. On the hunt for a husband, born-romantic Amina, 26, is more Jane Austen than Janis Joplin, until she has a run-in with Lady Parts, a wannabe punk band on the look out for a new recruit.
‘Amina is a pretty conventional person, and very far away from punk when we first see her,’ explains Anjana. ‘She’s a loveable oddball. I don’t think she realises all the positive sides of herself. She’s a little bit lonely too, which translates into an almost obsession with needing to find somebody, because there’s a void she’s trying to fill.’
We Are Lady Parts cast - Sarah Kameela Impey as Saira
A butcher by day and Lady Parts lead singer by night, single-minded Saira is adamant the band needs a lead guitarist. A chance encounter with Amina makes Saira determined to sign up the self-confessed nervous performer to the band. The other Lady Parts members aren’t convinced, but go along with it to keep their formidable front woman happy, and soon realise she’s onto something.
We Are Lady Parts cast - Juliette Motamed as Ayesha
Taxi driver drummer Ayesha takes her frustrations out on her drum kit and doesn’t suffer fools. She’s protective of her lyrics and is infuriated by Amina’s attempts at making them more PC. However, she does agree to set Amina up with her brother Ahsan in an attempt to lure her into the band.
We Are Lady Parts cast - Faith Omole as Bisma
Bisma is the band’s bassist. A cartoonist by day she does all Lady Parts’ art work. The single mum is the group’s peacemaker, and can hold her own in any situation...
‘All the cast have a musical background but don’t actually play the instruments that we end up playing on the show,’ reveals Anjana. ‘I play acoustic but had never played electric before, which was a nice parallel with Amina’s journey. Juliette plays guitar but had never played drums. Faith and Sarah are both incredible singers, but never played guitar and bass. It was an exciting challenge to learn a new skill.’
We Are Lady Parts cast - Lucie Shorthouse as Momtaz
Lucie Shorthouse stars as Lady Parts’ enigmatic manager Momtaz. A rumoured arsonist who sells underwear by day, will she get the group a real life gig?
Nida Manzoor on creating We Are Lady Parts
‘Elements are quite autobiographical, especially Amina and Saira’s characters. Amina is probably closer to my musical loves as a girl, like Don McLean and Paul Simon. My sister was really into punk and would bring me to gigs at Brixton Academy!’ says Nida.
‘Part of me was writing this for my younger self. The first day I saw the whole band together in the bedsit it was emotional, because they were absolutely inhabiting the characters and bringing their own energies to it. I think younger me would be pretty chuffed.’
Amina goes on a big, funny and touching journey
‘I think there's something in Amina that's actually a lot more punk than she realises,' says Anjana, who plays her. 'Yes she's listening to all this, as one character describes it "white dad music" like Don McLean and Paul Simon, but she’s also got people like Pete Seeger on her wall, who weren’t afraid to speak out.'
‘It’s a fish out of water situation when she joins the band, but she’s drawn to them and she realises over time there’s an affinity there. The love story is about the sisterhood and female friends. I was really surprised in a really good way of how big her emotional journey is. It’s a comedy that's chaotic, fun and a bit bonkers, but there is so much heart in it too.’
We Are Lady Parts filming locations
Set in London the series’ exteriors were filmed in and around East London, while many of the interiors are set pieces.
‘Most of them are in East London - Whitechapel and Bethnal Green area. We also shot at Queen Mary University, which is the university Amina goes to,’ explains Nida. ‘A lot of the other stuff we shot in a set for COVID reasons.'
Anjana adds: ‘Some places on set were modelled on places in East London. The butcher's shop looked exactly like the location we were meant to film in before COVID times. It was amazing how they did that.’
We Are Lady Parts episode one recap
London punk band Lady Parts are on the look out for a lead guitarist (and a gig). Enter stage left Amina. Born-romantic Amina is on the hunt for a husband, until she has a run-in with Lady Parts that changes her life.
In episode one Singer Saira [day job: butcher] is determined to recruit nervy Amina into the band, despite the misgivings of drummer Ayesha [day job: taxi driver], bassist Bisma [day job: unsuccessful cartoonist] and manager Momtaz [day job: underwear retailer and rumoured arsonist].
Anjana Vasan, Sarah Kameela Impey, Juliette Motamed, Faith Omole and Lucie Shorthouse crackle as the female Muslim group in this razor-sharp comedy that hits all the right notes.
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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.
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