Beautiful People. Copyright: BBC
Beautiful People

Beautiful People

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC Two
  • 2008 - 2009
  • 12 episodes (2 series)

Sitcom about the young family life of window-dresser Simon Doonan, based upon the memoirs of the fashionista of the same name. Stars Olivia Colman, Meera Syal, Aidan McArdle, Luke Ward-Wilkinson, Layton Williams and more.

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Series 1, Episode 1 - How I Got My Vase

Simon is creating a window in the New York store when his assistant, Sacha, knocks over a vase. Memories come flooding back...

Preview clips

Further details

Beautiful People. Simon Doonan (Luke Ward-Wilkinson). Copyright: BBC

2008: Barneys window, New York. Simon ponders his latest window creation. A red vase is knocked off a mannequin by his boyfriend Sacha. Simon catches it as memories of the vase, 1997, best mate Kylie and his family come flooding back...

1997: Reading. When 13-year-old Simon describes his dysfunctional family with mocking affection to his fellow classmates, his mum Debbie, 'the right old alkie', decides to quit drinking and prove her son wrong.

During a visit to his best friend Kylie's (aka Kyle) house he stumbles across a rather fetching turquoise dress hanging on the door, which belongs to Kylie's mum, Reba. He decides to 'borrow' the dress for a little make-over fun that evening.

But while he's trying it on, his sister Ashlene takes a Polaroid photo and threatens to give it to the school bullies unless he can cut her hair into a Heather Small (lead singer of M People)-style afro.

Simon has set his heart on buying a beautiful red vase he's seen in a shop window, so when he spies strict vegan and health freak Aunt Hayley chomping down on a juicy burger, he decides a bit of light blackmail is in order to get the money for the vase.

Meanwhile, a horrified Debbie discovers Reba's dress in her bin and accuses her of 'getting it on' with her plumber husband. Will Simon own up to taking the dress and will he ever get the coveted vase he longs for?


The main tracks used in this episode were:

'Jolene' written by Dolly Parton, performed by Sophie Ellis Bextor.

'Runaway' written by Ian Masterson and Terry Ronald and performed by Sam Taylor.

Broadcast details

Thursday 2nd October 2008
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Olivia Colman Debbie Doonan
Meera Syal Aunty Hayley
Aidan McArdle Andy Doonan
Luke Ward-Wilkinson Simon Doonan
Layton Williams Kyle
Sophie Ash Ashlene Doonan
Sarah Niles Reba
Samuel Barnett Adult Simon
Gary Amers Sacha
Tameka Empson Tameka
Josh Handley Jayeson Jackson
Guest cast
Samantha Blakey Student Teacher
Kerron Darby Leroy
Paul Ham Paramedic
Stephen Henry Policeman
Writing team
Jonathan Harvey Writer
Production team
Gareth Carrivick Director
Justin Davies Producer
Jon Plowman Executive Producer
Mark Lawrence Editor
Dennis De Groot Production Designer


Simon's Essay

Simon has written an essay about his family - this video introduces them.

Featuring: Sophie Ash (Ashlene Doonan), Olivia Colman (Debbie Doonan), Aidan McArdle (Andy Doonan), Meera Syal (Aunty Hayley), Luke Ward-Wilkinson (Simon Doonan), Layton Williams (Kyle) & Frances Barber (Miss Prentice).

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