Man In An Orange Shirt is a heart-breaking, unforgettable two-part journey of love spanning two generations, from the repressive 1940s to present day highlighting the conflicts within one family alongside the different social and emotional challenges facing gay men over that period. The first part focuses on World War 2 veterans Michael (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and Thomas (James McArdle), comrades at arms in the army and companions in bed until Michael chooses conformity over his heart's desire, marrying Flora (Joanna Vanderham) whilst Thomas becomes an openly gay artist. It brings years of suppressed desire, and unhappiness.
Part two takes us to 2017 and Michael's grandson, Adam (Julian Morris) who is still single in his 30s and living with his grandmother, Flora (Vanessa Redgrave). He bounces from one casual encounter to another until he meets emotionally adjusted but married Simon. However, when one of Thomas's paintings resurfaces, it unleashes long-hidden memories and suppressed emotions that have consequences for everyone involved.
The first TV drama written by acclaimed novelist Patrick Gale (A Town Called Winter, Rough Notes) and specially commissioned by Kudos Films for BBC, Man In An Orange Shirt draws on some of his own personal history to make a compelling story of the human heart.