Further details have been released about Russell T Davies’ new E4 series, Banana, which is produced by Red Production Company.

It’s the partner drama of Cucumber, which will air on Channel 4, and it starts filming in Manchester next week.

Davies has written 3 of the episodes, with the other 5 penned by comedian Sue Perkins (The Great British Bake Off), Matthew Barry and new writers Charlie Covell and Lee Warburton.

Each of the episodes is stand alone and Channel 4 says it “covers 50 shades of gay and beyond.”

“The joy of Banana is in the beautiful, charming, witty and sometimes heart breaking stories of a wide variety of characters, be they gay, lesbian, transgender or anything in-between,” explained Davies. 

“The fact we have a bunch of brilliant and wildly talented young people in it, and making it, will give it even more bite and an exciting edge.”

The cast list includes Hannah John-Kamen (Happy Valley), Letitia Wright (Top Boy), Georgia Henshaw (Waterloo Road), Andrew Hayden-Smith (Doctor Who) and comedian Bethany Black in her television debut. They are joined by the cast of Cucumber, Freddie Fox (Parade’s End) and Fisayo Akinade (Fresh Meat).

The series is being directed by the up-coming talent of Lewis Arnold (Misfits), Luke Snellin (My Mad Fat Diary) and Al Mackay (My Jihad). Emily Feller is producing.

Channel 4 commissioned the 3 interlinked shows, Banana, Cucumber and Tofu for E4, Channel 4 and online. Tofu will be an “anarchic and entertaining” factual series about sex, inspired by the dramas. It will be made by Benjamin Cook (Becoming YouTube).

Cucumber is written by Russell T Davies and produced by Matt Strevens, with directors David Evans, Alice Troughton and Euros Lyn.