Alma’s Not Normal cast: who stars with Sophie Willan and Jayde Adams in BBC 2 sitcom - and when is it on TV?

The series won a BAFTA for it’s pilot in 2020, it looks at the realities of sexuality, substance abuse, mental health and social class through the eyes of a free-spirited young woman

Sophie Willan and Jayde Adams star in this hilarious, relatable BBC sitcom (Picture: BBC)Sophie Willan and Jayde Adams star in this hilarious, relatable BBC sitcom (Picture: BBC)
Sophie Willan and Jayde Adams star in this hilarious, relatable BBC sitcom (Picture: BBC)

BBC Two’s latest sitcom is destined to be a hit with viewers - specifically fans of Back to Life and The Pursuit of Love.

The series has been a long time coming, with the pilot released last year which earned lead actress Sophie Willan a Bafta, as well as an outpouring of adoration from critics.

Alma’s Not Normal is another hilariously relatable drama, airing this September on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

The series tackles classism, sexuality, substance abuse and mental health through fictional characters, including Alma, a young woman with big dreams and little resources.

So, who is in the cast of Alma’s Not Normal - and when is it released? This is everything you need to know.

Alma’s Not Normal cast

Sophie Willan as Alma Nuthall

Comedian Sophie Willan stars as Alma Nuthall, as well as writing the series and nurturing it since it first appeared at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in 2014.

Alma is a mid-30s Bolton lass, who dreams of being an actress but struggles to keep her own life in order as she muddles through rocky relationships and a lack of education or steady employment.

“I feel like I’ve been born in the wrong social bracket. I could have been a baroness or a Kardashian,” Alma recons, as she wolfs down a Pot Noodle, confining in bestie Leanne (Jayde Adams).

Speaking of Alma, Willan said: “‘Comedy is a really good vehicle for having really candid conversations about things that could be quite difficult with an optimism and an anarchy.”

Willan grew up in care herself, which the lead actors in this sitcom have said make it harrowing yet funny, relatable and a worthy watch.

Siobhan Finneran as Lin

Benidorm’s Finneran plays another fantastically written role in this BBC Two sitcom, playing the role of Alma’s mother, Lin.

Lin is in a psychiatric hospital in the beginning of the series, having suffered years of substance abuse. Finneran said her character is very childlike, with no filter and “the queen of over sharing.”

Speaking of working with writer and lead actress Willan, Finneran said: “I think Sophie’s wit is razor sharp and the series is full of wonderful characters that make you laugh. And the character of Alma… one minute you’re falling about laughing as she’s up doing Spice Girls karaoke and within minutes your heart is breaking for her.”

Jayde Adams as Leanne

Host of Channel 4’s ‘Crazy Delicious’ and ‘Snackmasters’, comedian Jayde Adams has turned her hand to acting for the role of Alma’s best friend, Leanne.

Asked about her character, Adams said she is “quite similar” to the character and revealed she and Willan are besties in real life.

“We’ve known each other for over 10 years,” she added, “Leanne is like myself had I not left waitressing, she doesn’t take any rubbish from anyone, she’s straight talking and a real anchor for Alma. Alma’s all over the place.”

Lorraine Ashbourne as Joan

Actress Lorraine Ashbourne is best known for her roles in late 1990s series Playing the Fields and guest appearances in Coronation Street and other British dramas.

Her character, Lorraine, is one of Alma’s best friends and makes up one third of the hilarious leading trio, alongside Willan and Adams.

James Baxter as Anthony

Emmerdale actor James Baxter plays Alma’s on-off boyfriend Anthony, who Baxter describes as “charming but manipulative.”

The beginning of the series revolves very much around Alma’s heartbreak following their latest break up. Baxter worked with Willan on Still Open All Hours, where he first learned of her pilot for Alma’s Not Normal.

Baxter said of the show: “Some of the topics dealt with in the script are quite harrowing, but Sophie has a real ability to take that and make it hilarious, which is a proper skill.

“That’s something I was trying to judge correctly, as Anthony is manipulative and abusive,” he added.

Nicholas Asbury as Jim

Jim is Alma’s problematic father, making up the other half of her troubled parents. Asbury told the BBC: “Jim is a very kind and loving toothless schizophrenic. He’s got multiple personalities, but the bottom line is that he and Lin are very together and very happy and sort of prop each other up.”

He added: “All the characters may seem fantastical but they’re real actually and that’s the exciting, wonderful and scary thing about it.”

His other work includes Arthur and Merlin (2015) and Innocent (2018).

The series also features comedians Thanyia Moore and Dave Spikey and actor Ben Willbond.

When is Alma’s Not Normal on TV?

The six part series will air weekly on BBC Two at 9pm, beginning on 13 September.

It is also available to watch on BBC iPlayer.