6 x 45’ for Channel 4
Twenty-four year old Marnie has bad thoughts all the time and she can’t tell anyone. Her mind is XXX-rated and intrusive thoughts are piling up inside her head. She is caught in the grip of an excruciating form of obsessive compulsive disorder – nicknamed ‘pure O’ – where her obsessions take the form of intrusive sexual thoughts, and the compulsions are unseen mental rituals that deeply affect her daily life.
Something. Has. Got. To. Give. At breaking point, she packs a bag and, with no plan, jumps on a coach to London. In the capital, Marnie soon discovers she’s not the only one who’s lost.
In increasingly funny and awkward encounters, Marnie finds a gang of new friends, all with their own foibles. She moves in with her deceptively cheery old school friend Shereen (Kiran Sonia Sawar; Murdered By My Father, Black Mirror). She befriends Charlie (BIFA-winning Joe Cole, A Prayer Before Dawn, Peaky Blinders), who is in recovery, having torpedoed his love and work life, due to his porn addiction. He’s now single, stuck with an old-school flip-phone and attending weekly Sex Addicts Anonymous meets. Queen among Marnie’s new gang is journalist and ladies-woman, Amber (Niamh Algar, The Bisexual) who has been gaining a problematic rep for her promiscuity. Then there’s Amber’s housemate, the irresistible and unassuming Joe (Anthony Welsh; Black Mirror, Journeyman) with whom Marnie shares an adorable Will They-Won’t They romance.
PURE (6 X ‘45), writer Kirstie Swain’s first original series, based on Rose Cartwright’s acclaimed memoir about growing up and discovering she has Pure O, is painfully human, sharply observed, and outrageously funny. It is a moving, warm and truthful exploration of one young woman’s search for herself and her very real struggle with mental illness. It explores how it feels to discover a whole new world, with amazing new friends.
Other members of the cast include Arabella Weir, Doon Mackichan Ewan Stewart, Olive Gray, Tori Allen-Martin, Jing Lusi and Jacob Collins-Levy.
Lead director on Pure is BAFTA-nominated Aneil Karia, and Alicia McDonald directed the second block. The producer is Jen Kenwood and executive producer is Roanna Benn. Manpreet Dosanjh is the commissioning editor for C4 drama.
Pure will air January 30th at 10pm on Channel 4. The full series is available, free to view or download, on All 4 following transmission of the first episode. The series will also continue weekly on Channel 4.
DISTRIBUTION: BBC Worldwide