Sharon Rooney stars as our heroine Rae Earl in My Mad Fat Diary - brand new British drama starting in January 2013 on E4.
Set in the mid-90s at the height of cool Britannia, My Mad Fat Diary takes a hilarious and honest look at teenage life from the perspective of Rae - a funny, music-mad 16-year-old who, despite an eccentric mother and her own body image and mental health issues, has a huge lust for life, love and trying to get laid.
Sharon, in her first major TV role, is joined by a raft of fresh young talent for the 6x'60 series. Rae's friendship group includes best friend and popular girl Chloe played by Jodie Comer, jack-the-lad and joker Chop played by Jordan Murphy, the sweet and innocent Izzy played by Ciara Baxendale, major lust interest Archie played by Dan Cohen, and fit-but-knows-it Finn played by Nico Mirallegro (Spike Island, Hollyoaks). Claire Rushbrook (Whitechapel, Mutual Friends, Secrets & Lies) plays Rae's mum and Ian Hart (Dirt, Backbeat) plays Rae's therapist Dr Kester.
Adapted from Rae Earl's real-life diaries and subsequent book My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary, the series is written by Tom Bidwell, a previous alumnus of Channel 4's talent scheme Coming Up, and Oscar-nominee for his short film Wish 143.
My Mad Fat Diary will launch on E4 in January 2013 (week 3).
A Tiger Aspect Production
Rae realises she's started to fall for Finn and contemplates telling him how she feels - she's sick of lying, and telling Chloe about her illness was a relief, so perhaps she needs to start being honest with everyone.
Finn and Rae are getting on well, but she begins to worry that he'll never see her as more than just a mate, prompting Danny Two Hats to impart some advice about how to steer clear of the ‘friend zone'.
Rae's mum announces that she and Karim have to go to Tunisia for a few days, to stop the immigration authorities discovering him. Rae is delighted to have some space at last - but her mum leaves her with a clear warning: NO parties.
When Rae makes a shocking and upsetting family discovery she seeks revenge on her mum - and invites Chop and the gang around. Meanwhile in her regular therapy session, Kester encourages Rae to open up about what triggered her self-harm, but when Kester won't tell her anything about his life she refuses. She thinks he's just like her mum - full of lies and hypocrisy.
Rae heads home to discover that Chop's idea of a sleep-over has now turned into a massive party. She freaks out when she sees Danny is there too, telling everyone he used to date Rae, in an effort to help Rae make Finn jealous but which doesn't really have the desired effect.
When Chloe confesses her new crush to Rae, and Rae's mum returns from her trip to Tunisia with some news, Rae has to bite her tongue - and realises that sometimes honesty isn't necessarily the best policy.
Rae and Chloe fall out when Rae discovers Chloe's secret boyfriend is their hot PE teacher, Mr Carrisford. Rae disapproves of the relationship, even though she's been lusting after Carrsiford herself. Chloe is jealous that the boys have asked Rae to go to the Oasis concert at Knebworth with them, but not her. There are serious tensions between these old friends.
Kester advises Rae to think about why her friendship with Chloe has changed now that boys have come into the equation, but Rae is sick of living in Chloe's shadow. She's also downhearted when she discovers that the boys have asked her to Knebworth because they consider her to be one of the lads. She wants them to see her as a woman - she starts thinking about how she can be more feminine.
Rae is shocked when Chloe tells her she might be pregnant and Rae agrees to accompany her to the GP, even though they're yet to make up. Rae struggles to cope with the fallout of the friendship and after a horrible encounter with local bullies the Green Lane Gang, succumbs to self-harming.
With worries of her own, Chloe pushes Rae away - Rae presumes Chloe doesn't need her anymore now she has a boyfriend. Meanwhile, when the Green Lane gang hassle Rae in the street, Finn comes to her rescue. Rae realises she's misunderstood him - and that she might have just fallen in love...
On the day of Knebworth, Chloe comes to Rae for support after she and Carrisford have broken up. Will Rae remain loyal to her old friend in need, or go and have fun with the boys at the concert of a lifetime?
With her best friend Chloe in a secret relationship with a mystery man, Rae also longs for a boyfriend, but is worried she'll never get one while she's overweight. She's annoyed when Kester recognises she's uncomfortable with her appearance and refuses his request to try and look in the mirror more. She's also embarrassed by her complete lack of sexual experience - she's never seen anyone naked, been kissed or had an orgasm.
Rae is ecstatic, and shocked, when Archie asks her out on a date, and decides to make a few changes to prepare herself. She goes jogging, borrows some books on sex from the local library, and throws away all the junk food in the house. After discovering the contents of the cupboards in the bin, and hearing whispers around town about her own sexual exploits, Rae's mum grounds Rae for 24 hours as punishment - but Rae defiantly sneaks out when Archie comes knocking. Archie takes Rae to a secret location, could this be her opportunity to tick another romantic milestone off the list?
Rae is over the moon when Archie invites her for a second date, and Chloe and Izzy decide to give her a makeover before the big day. Will the new Rae impress Archie? When Finn arrives to let Rae know Archie isn't coming, it looks like she'll never find out. Rae is devastated and finally confronts Archie, but nothing could have prepared her for what she finds out...
E4's brand new series based on the real-life teenage diaries of Rae Earl. It's 1996, and all that sixteen year old, overweight Rae wants is to be a normal teenager. After being hospitalised in a psychiatric unit for four months, she's now back in the real world and desperate to fit in. She's sad about leaving behind her best friend, Tix, who suffers from an eating disorder, but Tix encourages her to be brave.
Rae has continue to have therapy sessions at the hospital - initially unsure whether she can trust her new therapist, Kester, she starts to tell him about her first week back on ‘the outside'.
On her way home from the hospital with her mum, Rae bumps into her old friend, Chloe - who she's recently drifted apart from, and who has no idea where Rae's been these few months. Chloe is hanging out with a new gang, which includes three gorgeous boys - Chop, Finn and Archie. Rae instantly finds Archie irresistible.
Back home, Rae is shocked when she discovers her mum has a new boyfriend living with her - an illegal Tunisian immigrant, Karim, who she's hiding from the neighbours.
Keen to escape home, Rae starts to hang out with Chloe and her new friends. Rae is desperate to belong to the new gang, but wants to keep her mental illness a secret. Will she be able to fit in and convince them she's normal? When Chloe throws a pool party, it's a major test of Rae's courage. Will she be brave enough to show off her body, which she hates, especially in front of the boys?