Meet Lady Parts...the all-female Muslim band

Thursday television:We Are Lady Parts; (Channel 4, 10pm)

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 5:00 pm
Lucie Shorthouse (Momtaz), Faith Omole (Bisma), Anjana Vasan (Amina), Juliette Motamed (Ayesha) and  Sarah Impey (Saira)
Lucie Shorthouse (Momtaz), Faith Omole (Bisma), Anjana Vasan (Amina), Juliette Motamed (Ayesha) and Sarah Impey (Saira)

If nothing else, the title should have made you sit up and take notice.

And if the original pilot episode is anything to go by, the jokes, great characters and knockout songs should keep you hooked for the next six weeks.

We Are Lady Parts started life in 2018 with an episode of Comedy Blaps, Channel 4’s series of short but sweet sitcoms. Those that have proved popular with viewers and have the potential to be expanded are then turned into a series. Chewing Gum, Gameface and Stath Lets Flats are just a few of the sitcoms to have been developed in this manner during the past few years.

Now Nida Manzoor’s brainchild is following in their footsteps. Manzoor, whose previous works include Hounslow Diaries and Enterprice, has written and directed the show, which explores some of life’s biggest questions, including ‘who am I?’ and ‘where and with whom do I belong?’

“I had such a blast making the Channel 4 Comedy Blap and am so thrilled to have the opportunity to make a full series,” says Manzoor. “The show is so close to my heart and I feel very lucky to be working with the incredible people at Channel 4 and (production company) WTTV who have been so supportive and encouraging throughout.”

The writer has also worked with her siblings Shez and Sanya Manzoor and Benni Fregin on the soundtrack, which includes original punk songs and a few surprising cover tracks.

The six-part comedy stars Anjana Vasan as geeky microbiology PhD student Amina Hussain whose main interests seem to involve love and romance. However, that all changes when she meets Saira, frontwoman of a post-punk, anarchic, all-Muslim, all-female band called Lady Parts.

Saira sees something in Amina that others can’t and quickly enlists her to become the group’s new lead guitarist. Amina is initially reluctant to do so, until she realises that her new friend could provide an introduction to the man of her dreams, Ahsan, who just so happens to be the brother of taxi-driving drummer Ayesha.

Cartoon-drawing bassist and backing vocalist Bisma and Momtaz, the band’s wheeler-dealer band manager, are not convinced Amina has the chops to rock it, but it isn’t long before she’s swept away by everyone’s joyful energy and punk spirit. However, she also feels torn between her new friends and those she may be leaving behind, including her strait-laced best pal Noor. Plus, Amina has a nagging feeling she should be spending more time trying to find a suitable husband…

Fiona McDermott, head of comedy at Channel 4, says: “Lady Parts promises to be an audacious, celebratory and hilarious new comedy. Nida is a phenomenal talent who had such vision for this show and the women and world she wanted to portray, it was impossible not to succumb to it after the success of the Blap. We’re thrilled to be working with her on scaling it up.”

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