A friendship forged between James and Tully in a small Scottish town in 1986. One weekend, they make a vow to each other to go at life differently. But then, 30 years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has the worst kind of news.

Year: 2022

Director: Peter Mackie Burns

Writer: Andrea Gibb

Producer: Brian Kaczynski

Cinematographer: Alasdair Boyce

Cast: Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Ashley Jensen, Charlene Boyd, Mitchell Robertson

Production company: Synchronicity Films

Broadcaster: BBC Scotland, BBC One

Screen Scotland funding: The production accessed £500,000 through Screen Scotland’s Broadcast Content Fund to support award-winning Scottish production company Synchronicity Films and Scottish director Peter Mackie Burns with his first authored piece for TV.


Everyone has a Tully Dawson: the friend who defines your life. In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, Jimmy and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films and the rebel spirit. With school over they rush towards the climax of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently.  

Keeping that vow, Jimmy is now a successful writer, living in London. He might have escaped his small-town roots, but he hasn’t cut all ties with his past. He’s still deeply connected through his thirty-year friendship with Tully. Even the prospect of turning 50 can’t dent their boyish optimism. They’ve worked this whole life thing out. Somehow.   

Till the night Tully phones Jimmy; Tully has the worst kind of news and a request that will test their friendship, love, and loyalty to the limit.  

Still from Mayflies. Tony Curran and Ashley Jensen hug on a beach.Still from Mayflies featuring  Ashley Jensen and Tony Curran. Credit: BBC and Synchronicity Films

More information

Realease: Mayflies will air on BBC Scotland and be available on BBC iPlayer on Tuesday 27 December at 10pm. The second part will air on Wednesday 28 December at 10pm. 

Mayflies will air on BBC One on Wednesday 28 December at 9pm. The second part will air on Thursday 29 December at 9pm. 

Behind the scenes image from Mayflies. Man and woman walk a long a wet beach while film crew shoot them from the front.Mayfliesehind the Scenes featuring Martin Compston and Louise Ludgate. Credit_BBC and Synchronicity.