TV & Movies

The Cast For Russell T Davies’ Men Up Features Some Very Familiar Faces

The series follows five men as they take part in a ‘90s medical trial for Viagra.

by Sophie McEvoy
Pete (Phaldut Sharma), Meurig (Iwan Rheon), Eddie (Mark Lewis Jones), Colin (Steefan Rhordri)
BBC/Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson

Written by Industry’s Matthew Berry and produced by Russell T Davies, BBC One’s upcoming drama Men Up chronicles one of the first medical trials for the drug that became Viagra. Inspired by the events that unfolded in Swansea’s Morriston Hospital in 1994, Men Up follows a group of men who volunteer for the trial and looks at the effects it had on each individual and those close to them. The show is set to star a range of familiar faces, including Games of Thrones and Gavin & Stacey stars. Described by BBC One as “a poignant and beautiful story in which a group of unassuming men rise to the challenge to reclaim their sex lives,” here’s everything we know about Men Up, including its cast list and release date.

Men Up Plot

A group of men in Wales share one particular thing in common: impotence. Per the synopsis, “it’s affecting them in every aspect of their lives, as they are drowning in shame and silence. Left feeling failures as men, questioning their manhood.” However, they are soon presented with the opportunity to be placed on a medical trial “for an unknown drug thought to cure impotence,” led by Dr Dylan Pearce at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital.

While the experiences of Meurig Jenkins, Colin White, Tommy Cadogan, Peetham “Pete” Shah, and Eddie O’Connor are fictional, the medical trial upon which the series is based is a real-life event. As mentioned in a medical journal from 2001, Viagra (medically known as Sildenafil) was first developed by Pfizer after research into treatment for heart-related chest pain. Following the success of the trials (including the one that took place in Swansea), Viagra was approved for medical use in the U.S. and the EU in 1998.

Men Up Cast

Men Up has a pretty star-studded cast, with major Welsh names like Game of ThronesIwan Rheon as Meurig alongside two Gavin & Stacey stars: Joanna Page, who plays a clinical nurse named Moira Davies and Steffan Rhodri (aka Dave) as Colin.

Phaldut Sharma (Unforgotten) plays Pete, Mark Lewis Jones (Gang’s of London) plays Eddie, and Paul Rhys (A Discovery of Witches) plays Tommy. They’re joined by Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk) as Dylan, Alexandria Roach (Killing Eve) as Ffion Jenkins, and Lisa Palfrey (Sex Education) as Teresa Rigby.

Katy Wix (Stath Lets Flats), Nathan Sussex (It’s A Sin), and Dyfan Dwyfor (A Very English Scandal) also star.

According to Lindsay Salt, the director of BBC Drama, the Men Up cast tells this “little-known chapter of our history beautifully … across 90 minutes of poignant, funny, and life-affirming television.”

Men Up Release Date

Men Up has no release date yet, but the series has started filming in and around Swansea.