Queenie: Here’s our first look at the TV adaptation of the award-winning novel


After years of anticipation, the first look at the upcoming TV series based on Candice Carty-Williams’ bestselling book Queenie is finally here.

The acclaimed novel – published in 2019 and landing Book of the Year at the 2020 British Book Awards – follows the triumphs and woes of Queenie Jenkins, a bold 25-year-old British-Jamaican woman who is always running into trouble as she tries to straddle two cultures, to varying degrees of success.

Touching on life, love, race and family, this novel paints a vibrant picture of the Black British community in south London and has been praised for its “inspirational, funny and wise” tone.

The cast for the Channel 4 series was announced in May, starring Dionne Brown in the titular role. Singer Bellah plays Queenie’s childhood friend Kyazike and BAFTA-nominated actor Samuel Adewunmi will feature as Frank, Kyazike’s older cousin and Queenie’s intellectual match.

(Channel 4/Onyx Collective)

The eight-part adaptation comes from creator and showrunner Carty-Williams who this year also wrote the BBC drama series Champion, hailed as a “love letter to British Black music”.

The teaser clip for Queenie takes place with Queenie around the dinner table with her loud and eccentric family as they do grace before tucking into their christmas meal. Grandma Veronica (Llewella Gideon) takes the lead, and the thoughtful moment of prayer quickly spirals into chaos as she calls out exactly who should and shouldn’t be blessed.

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In an interview with Vogue, Carty-Williams praised Brown and the wider cast for their commitment to bringing Queenie to life.

“They brought so much of themselves to Queenie, her family, her friends (and frenemies), her situationships and her exes,” she said.

“I’ve watched every episode about 500 times at this point, and moments still make me laugh, cry, scream and cover my eyes in horror. Each episode is set against the backdrop of south London, and to a beautiful score from my creative soulmate, producer Swindle.”

The official synopsis reads: “A South London stalwart, journalist, loyal friend, not-so-loyal daughter and granddaughter, a sometimes catastrophist, an occasional mess, but more often than not an undervalued success – who is always, always enough.

“Queenie is a razor-sharp, utterly honest, blisteringly funny and achingly yet beautifully relatable series, full of as much heart and soul as the lady herself. At its core, it’s a story about a young Black woman’s value and the unrelenting trials and tribulations of life.

“After a messy breakup from her long-term boyfriend Tom, played by Jon Pointing (Big Boys), Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places and begins to realise she has to face the past head-on before she can rebuild.”

(Channel 4/Onyx Collective)

Queenie premieres on Channel 4 in the UK and Hulu in the US in 2024