Channel 4 Orders Porn Industry Drama ‘Adult Material’, Sheridan Smith To Star

Channel 4 has given the greenlight to Adult Material, a four episode drama series from The Smoke creator Lucy Kirkwood about the porn industry. Sheridan Smith (Cilla, Dates, The Moorside) is attached to star.

Adult Material follows Jolene Dollar, who has been working in the porn industry her entire adult life and has seen it grow from a seedy backroom enterprise to a legitimate and highly profitable arm of the telecommunications business. One day on set, Jolene is introduced to 19 year old Amy. She looks after Amy the way that she looks after every new girl on set, but she can’t protect Amy from her own choices.

Soon her relationship with this unstable young woman will see Jolene’s own career and complicated home life start to unravel. Sheridan Smith will play Jolene, mum of three and leading British porn star for two decades. Maybe in porn years she’s getting on, but she’s a hard worker and she loves what she does. After all, porn is one of the only industries in the world where women don’t just get paid equal to men, they get paid more.

“Adult Material tackles some really important topics, topics that I’m sure will resonate with people up and down the UK. I think its taboo-busting drama which not only confronts these questions head on but is also a brilliantly brave and unabashed story told with real heart”, Smith said. “Thanks to broadcasters such as Channel 4 and Lucy’s thought-provoking and insightful writing, Adult Material gives Jolene the platform and voice she deserves and it feels like the perfect time to tell her story. I’ve played some truly fascinating women in my career, from all walks of life, and I can’t wait to step into Jolene’s shoes.”

The four episode drama is being penned by Lucy Kirkwood, who will also serve as an executive producer alongside Patrick Spence. “I am delighted that Channel 4 has given Jolene a home, it feels like exactly the right place and the right time to look at the way that economics colours every aspect of female experience”, she said. “I am also over the moon to be working with Sheridan again, she is an actor of genius and I know that in her brilliant hands Jolene will be warm, funny, complicated and truthful”. Fifty Fathoms is producing, with Kath Mattock serving as the series producer. Filming gets underway next year.

“We’re thrilled to be working with two incredibly talented women on this project; Sheridan and Lucy. Lucy’s scripts are a gripping, powerful and raw look at the current state of our relationship with sex and the porn industry in Britain”, added Channel 4’s Head of Drama Beth Willis, who commissioned the series alongside Channel 4 Commissioning Executive Lee Mason. “Adult Material tackles some important issues; sex, power, money, consent and how all these things have an impact on one woman and her family. We can’t wait for Sheridan to bring such a fascinating character to life.”