Heart & Soul

8:30pm Friday, January 7 on Prime

Drama Series

A confrontation with Michael about Kyle finally gives Esther an opportunity to vent the hurt and anger she has felt since he left. The two choirs rehearse hard as the North West Choral finals approach. Esther is swept up in the competitive spirit, though nothing can match Layla’s determination that Michael’s choir will win. On the day of the finals, Esther remembers that competition and being the best, are not what it’s all about. She makes a surprising decision when forced to choose between Jake and Michael. And the choir sing together again, just for the love of it.

8:30pm Friday, December 31 on Prime

Drama Series

Binsey’s brother Edgar dies, and members of the choir are amazed to find out that Binsey and Ethel are sisters. Binsey discovers that Edgar made an unconventional request for his cremation and she feels duty-bound to honour it, keeping the details secret from Ethel. At the funeral, the truth about the rift between the sisters is revealed and Edgar receives two very different send-offs. Jake tries to tell Esther how he feels about her and explain his relationship with Layla, but she refuses to listen. Eventually he blurts out that he loves Esther. Esther is shocked and moved. But she is still suspicious about Jake’s relationship with Layla and, eventually, Jake comes clean.

9:00pm Friday, December 24 on Prime

Drama Series

Michael’s choir is rehearsing hard for the North West choral competition. Determined not to be outdone by the rival choir, Jimmy and Olive enter Esther’s choir – without telling her. They eventually come clean and Esther is persuaded to take part. When it comes to the competition, both Michael and Esther’s choir make it through to the finals, in spite of Esther’s unusual choice of repertoire. Meanwhile, Olive and Jimmy are falling for each other, but Olive fights against admitting how she feels. Jake and Esther step in to help the older couple overcome their fear of getting close to each other. Jake hints to Esther that he has feelings for her, but when she sees him with Layla, she imagines the worst and tells him to back off. Layla takes steps to heal Michael’s relationship with his kids. But at the competition, Michael is wowed by Esther’s transformation – is he starting to miss her?

8:30pm Friday, December 17 on Prime

Drama Series

Sofija and Nemanja, choir members and recent arrivals from Serbia, are hoping that Michael’s choir will sing at their wedding. But Jabba takes against Nemanja when he is offered Jabba’s cherished solo spot. To makes matters worse, Jake has asked Nemanja to renovate the community space in the church (Jabba, owner of Glossop’s biggest painting and decorating company normally has first refusal on all church contracts). Jabba and his wife Ethel try to intimidate Sofija and Nemanja into backing out of both commitments. When Nemanja refuses to capitulate, Ethel and Jabba persuade Michael to turn down the couple’s request for music at their wedding. The pair are devastated, but Esther steps in and saves the day.

8:30pm Friday, December 10 on Prime

Drama Series

Shrek is the church caretaker and a keen member of the choir. When, prompted by Layla, Michael forces the whole choir to audition, Shrek cannot take the pressure and it’s suggested that he should leave. Worse still, on returning home, Shrek finds he has been evicted. He takes refuge in the church. Jake and Esther realise what is going on, but having been found out, Shrek disappears. Esther has been reluctant to bring her group of singers together again in the light of Michael’s comments at the music festival. But Shrek’s disappearance forces her to overcome her own insecurities and eventually he returns, drawn back by Esther’s new choir. The response of the church’s older members to Shrek’s predicament makes Jake and Esther push for the church to be available for wider use by the community. Some of the old guard are outraged at the idea, but Jake is determined.

8:30pm Friday, December 3 on Prime

Drama Series

From the writer of ‘Cutting It’ comes this heart-warming drama about family, love, prejudice and acceptance played out within liberal doses of harmony, booming bass lines and rousing choruses. Community choirmaster Michael (Neil Pearson) is perfectly happy leading his ramshackle local chorus. All-inclusive, the choir is a place for anyone who wants to sing, irrespective of musical ability. Happily married, his wife Esther (Sarah Lancashire) is choir secretary and lead soprano, and while his daughter is also a member, his two sons prefer their hopeless American grunge pop cover versions.

The arrival of beautiful and talented soprano Layla (Sarah Alexander) unexpectedly leads Michael astray in every way. His own vanity and ambition is fired by her competitive spirit and when he leaves Esther for Layla, she loses her husband and hobby in one painful blow. She’s not alone; other members of the choir who no longer ‘fit in’ are brutally ejected from the choir and turn to warm, competent Esther for support. But only the needs of her delicate teenage son Kyle can persuade Esther to put herself forward and challenge the new choir with an alternative, surprise entry to the Glossop Musicfest. In doing so, Esther finds she has inadvertantly set herself up in opposition to her husband and his wily new girlfriend. Heart & Soul is an uplifting musical drama about bringing a community back together and finding beauty in unexpected places.