Sheridan Smith Exits Channel 4’s ‘Adult Material’, Hayley Squires Set As New Lead

There’s been a change atop Channel 4’s porn industry drama Adult Material. Sheridan Smith, who was attached to star when it landed a series order back in 2018, has exited the project and Hayley Squires (I, Daniel Blake) has been set as the new lead. Smith exited due to a scheduling conflict.

Created by Lucy Kirkwood, Adult Material follows Jolene Dollar, who has been working in the porn industry her entire adult life and has seen it grow from an illegitimate backroom enterprise to a mainstream and highly profitable arm of the telecommunications industry.

Hayley Squires plays Jolene Dollar, a regular mother of three, who is proudly the breadwinner of the family. But Jolene doesn’t have the most conventional of careers: she is one of the top porn performers in the UK. Rounding out the cast is Siena Kelly (Temple), Kerry Godliman (Save Me), Joe Dempsie (Deep State), Julian Ovenden (Downton Abbey), Phil Daniels (A Very Very Very Dark Matter) and Rupert Everett (The Happy Prince).

“I am so excited and incredibly grateful to be playing Jolene Dollar, she is like the wildest dream. Lucy has written the most complex, multi-faceted and morally challenging story”, Squires said in a statement. “Throughout each episode you are constantly forced to question your own judgement and beliefs and that makes for the very best drama. I’m very lucky to be part of a female-led crew and an incredibly talented cast.”

The four-part drama, which was commissioned by Channel 4’s former Head of Drama Beth Willis and Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor Lee Mason, is being produced by Fifty Fathoms. Channel 4’s current Head of Drama Caroline Hollick is overseeing the series for the broadcaster. Patrick Spence and Lucy Kirkwood are the executive producers, while Dawn Shadforth is attached to direct. Filming is set to get underway this summer.