ITV launches another new drama for 2012. Leaving is to be based in Cheshire, revolving partly around a hotel, and is written by Garrow’s Law screenwriter Tony Marchant.

Described by ITV as a ‘powerful relationship drama, grounded in a reality we can all recognise’ and ‘a gripping character-driven story about the complexities of love, family and growing up’, the production has been commissioned for an initial three episodes.

Leaving has been brought to the network by ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie and Controller of Drama Commissioning Sally Haynes.

“We’re delighted to be working with Nicola Shindler and Red on Leaving after the success of Scott and Bailey,” said Sally. It is also a huge coup to have Tony Marchant writing an engaging and romantic piece for the channel.”

The drama focuses on 25 year old Aaron Hughes who lives with his parents in Warrington. He’s failed to find work since leaving university and – to cap it all – his ex-girlfriend Phoebe is about to marry his brother. Life’s not panning out the way he’d hoped.

Julie Ranmore is 45, married and a mum of two. The passion has long since lapsed in her marriage, but her work in hotel events at a 4 star country house hotel in Cheshire gives her brief moments of joy in the romance of others. Julie stands quietly at the back of weddings, silently mouthing the vows she knows by heart, enjoying the vicarious thrill of seeing other people happy.

When Julie first meets Aaron on the night of his brother’s wedding, he is drunk and miserable. Professional and with a degree of sympathy, Julie gets the night porter to take him to his room. Julie heads home to the everyday chaos of her family, unaware that this moment was the unlikely start to an unlikely relationship.

Other characters will include Jamie Ranmore, Julie’s husband, Hugh Patton, Event’s Manager at the hotel, Aaron’s parents, Jim and Vanessa Hughes, Jonah, Aaron’s best mate, Aaron’s brother Tom and his ex girlfriend who is now married to Tom, Phoebe.

Nicola Shindler will executive produce Leaving, “Leaving is an unusual love story set within the tough realities of contemporary Britain,” Nicola says.

Filming begins in February by Red Productions and will air later in the year on ITV. Casting has yet to be finalised.

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